Nigeria: the town of Ayetoro threatened by coastal erosion Nigeria: the town of Ayetoro threatened by coastal erosion

Nigeria: the town of Ayetoro threatened by coastal erosion

Nigeria: the town of Ayetoro threatened by coastal erosion

The town of Ayetoro, a Nigerian town in Ogun State. Founded in 1947, it was considered a little “paradise” for its inhabitants. And proudly bore the name ''happy city''. Today, it is threatened with disappearance by the rise of the sea.

The waters devoured many of its buildings. Victoria Mofeoluwa Arowolo, a retired civil servant, has lived here all her life.

“Marine erosion has taken away more than two thirds of Ayetoro. The old locality was washed away by the sea. It no longer exists,” she says.

The remains of the submerged buildings still bear the scars of the incessant advance of the sea. Inhabitants are helpless in the face of the waves which are gradually swallowing up their city.

"The erosion has affected me a lot because it took away my business and my house. My store was worth about $5,500. The erosion caused my store to flood. To survive, I now have to learn to work with fiberglass", regrets Stephen Tunlese, resident of the locality.

Mahin's muddy coastline has lost more than 10 square kilometers, or nearly 60 percent of its land, to the ocean over the past three decades. Researchers denounce the methods used by the Nigerian authorities.

"The government has tried to limit coastal erosion but to me I would say it is putting the cart before the horse. In reality, the government could have started by conducting research into the marine processes that are responsible for erosion coastal that we know in Ayetoro." ,says Professor Olusegun Dada, marine geologist, Federal University of Technology, Akure.

For this geologist, underwater oil drilling is one of the causes. When resources are extracted, the ground can sink. The deforestation of mangroves which help to anchor the earth, and the erosion caused by ocean waves are also singled out.

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