Some fishermen and women in the Makoko area of Lagos on Wednesday have sought the state government intervention.
At an event tagged, “The rights of Makoko fishermen and women,” they said the sea dredging and land reclamation would take away their source of livelihoods and render them homeless.
“The first is that the fishes aren’t nearby anymore. Unless we go far, we won’t see any fish to catch,” said 72-year-old Isaac Dosugau.
Mr Dosugau said that ever since the dredging around the Third Mainland bridge started, they have been hearing that they would be evicted from their homes.
The “dredging has caused holes in the river making the fishes hide there,” he added.
Mr Dosugau, who inherited the occupation from his father, said “they have spoken with the government but were yet to get a desirable response.”
Victoria Ayole, 62, said that she needs a boat and an engine that can withstand the wind.
Mrs Ayole, who has over 30 years of experience fishing, said that whenever the wind is strong, their boat will capsize, making them lose their catch.
“What we face is the wind of the river. We need you to help us with tools like boats, engines,” she said.
An environmentalist, Nnimmo Bassey, said the government ought to intervene because “the fish, the crabs are what is feeding this city.”
“Fish Net Alliance is a very good association… One of the easiest ways to get support is not to come as an individual but as a group,” he said.
“So, if you have Makoko Fish Net Alliance group…so whether you need speedboats, nets, what you need, if you come together and request for that and work towards that collectively, you will certainly get it.”