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The Eko Atlantic City project, one of the Chagoury Group’s involvements, seeks to address several issues facing Lagos, Nigeria, including overpopulation and environmental concerns. Among the pressing concerns is that of coastal erosion which has been threatening the shoreline of Victoria Island. Eko Atlantic’s construction known as the Great Wall of Lagos has already proven itself effective in combating erosion caused by the Atlantic Ocean. 

 

A Brief History of African Coastline Erosion

With the development of dams, ports, and even shipwrecks over the past century or so, coastal erosion has become a significant issue along the west coast of Africa. Where some areas experience a build-up of sand and sediment, other regions have witnessed extensive erosion. Lagos’ involvement in trade suffered because of such erosion, forcing large vessels to anchor in deeper waters off the coast due to low water levels and causing unnecessary impediments to the efficiency of trade. By 1905, the need for a solution was apparent. Two moles were constructed to allow larger ships to access the Port of Lagos. This development enabled Lagos to become and remain an economic hub in Africa.

While the moles allowed trading practices to thrive, they also impacted the littoral drift, which is the process by which sand and sediment are transported from the west to east coasts of Africa. As a result of this development, nearly 5 km of beach was lost to erosion between 1905 and 2005, and it also caused Victoria Island to become increasingly vulnerable to ocean surges. These waves have resulted in the collapse of roadways, homes, and businesses, and the surges have put lives at stake.

 

The Great Wall

As a part of Eko Atlantic, the Great Wall of Lagos has been constructed in order to protect Victoria Island from the devastating impact of further coastal erosion and ocean surges. In constructing the Great Wall of Lagos, the Eko Atlantic project seeks to reclaim more of Victoria Island, restore vitality to the region, and promote more innovative strategies for conservation in the future. The 8.5 km structure was designed with sustainability and longevity in mind; early tests and scale model trials suggest that the wall will be able to stand for centuries.