Four more bodies recovered at Lagos Bar Beach following ocean surge

Kuramo Beach shanties have now been demolished
Eight bodies have now been recovered at the beach following the ocean surge
Kuramo Beach shanties have now been demolished
Eight bodies have now been recovered at the beach following the ocean surge

Ben Ezeamalu

Divers at the Lagos Bar Beach say four bodies, including a two year old boy, were recovered Monday morning, bringing the number of those confirmed dead in Saturday’s ocean surge to eight.

The bodies of the boy, identified as David Ajose, alongside his mother, Maria, as well as Joseph Oke and one other identified simply as Benson were recovered from the Bar Beach.

Eight people are still missing.

Emergency agencies say they are yet to confirm the new recoveries.

One person had died Saturday after the Atlantic Ocean charged into Kuramo Beach in Lagos; while three bodies were recovered Sunday morning.

Following the incident, the Lagos State government rolled bulldozers into the beach, demolishing all the shanty structures around.

The morning after

On Monday morning, Kuramo beach, usually busy on public holidays, was a ghost town.

Save for the hiss of the sea tides pounding against the Kuramo shore and distant shouts of excited children, racing along the sand dunes at the Bar Beach; there was a quiet ambience.

Smokes from wooden rubbles, a reminder of the demolition the day before, filled the landscape.

Armed police officers restricted movement into the Kuramo beach, except dredging workers sand filling a section of the lagoon.

At the road leading into the beach, a group of boys hawked worn mattresses salvaged during Sunday’s hasty evacuation.

A mattress sold for N500, with a bulk purchase attracting a 20 percent discount.

“We sell about two this morning,” one of the boys who identified himself as Ahmed said.

“We will sell more before night.”

The shanties are the beach have gone, but more than a dozen Ministry of Environment-approved mobile toilets still sit at the bank of the lagoon.

Despite pronouncements by the Lagos State government that their occupation of the Kuramo beach was illegal; the residents maintained that they paid taxes to the government.

“This place was allocated to us by the state government. The people did not just land here to come and do business,” said Akin Bayode, whose building was demolished on Sunday.

About 60 cabins, according to the residents, were razed to the ground by the bulldozer.

“There used to be about of 110 them but previous surges had taken about 50 cabins,” another resident, who identified himself simply as David, said.

While the cabins situated at the front of the beach paid a monthly N70,000 rent to the Eti-Osa local government, those at the rear paid N50,000.

Buying a new cabin at the beach costs about N300,000, the residents said.

Mr. Bayode said that residents should have been “informed officially” about the demolition.

“What is the alternative to Kuramo Beach, that is the question. I want to ask the Lagos state government,” said Mr. Bayode.

“If the government knows this place is not good for business, why are they generating revenue from here?”

Read our earlier post on the incident here.


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