Controversy over Nigerian island development

EcoAtlantic

A new controversial development on an island off the coast of Nigeria is being planned by West African developer Chagoury Group.

Eko Atlantic, on Victoria Island, will be connected to the city of Lagos by a bridge – but walled off by a concrete block barrier in what the designers say is an attempt to combat the effects of erosion and rising waters.

But one critic of the scheme called it “climate apartheid” and claimed the move is more about isolating the development from the urban sprawl of the existing city.

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Promoted as a “sustainable city, clean and energy-efficient with minimal carbon emissions,” the plan includes infrastructure, streets, mass transit, and tall towers that will provide employment.

The project has the backing of The Clinton Global Initiative, a body founded by former US president Bill Clinton which works to find solutions to pressing world issues.

It called Eko Atlantic “one of the most inspiring and ambitious civil engineering projects in Africa.”

But environmental writer Martin Lukacs said “Eko Atlantic is where you can begin to see a possible future—privatised green enclaves for the ultra rich ringed by slums lacking water or electricity, in which a surplus population scramble for depleting resources and shelter to fend off the coming floods and storms.

“Protected by guards, guns, and sky-high real estate prices, the rich will shield themselves from the rising tides of poverty and a sea that is literally rising. This is climate apartheid.”

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