SAVE ONIRU BEACH, SAVE THE EARTH. BY MARTINA OMORODION.
Sometime ago, I had some friends visiting from Europe and I was in the mood to show off the finer side of Naija. So, we set off for Oniru beach.
Tick that as mistake no. 1.
Elegushi beach popularly known as the hubbub of all things fun and parties; had been closed down due to the death of two postgraduate students of the University of Lagos. The students had drowned during the birthday party of one of their friends and there were no lifeguards or ambulance facilities in place despite the huge amount of money made at the beach every weekend.
Someone on the corridor of power decided that this was one drowning too much and took action. Elegushi beach was closed down until its operators could guarantee that all safety measures had been put in place.
So we arrived at Oniru beach after making the customary stop at Shoprite.
Yes o. It looked like everyone at the beach was carrying “the big yellow bag that says lowest prices you can trust always.” From Shoprite we proceeded to Oniru beach and spent the first 20minutes driving around in circles.
Haba! Frustrated and tired, we stopped a bike man and asked him to take us to the beach. He showed us the way and we tipped him generously. At the gate of the beach, we paid the gate fee, drove in and started looking for the beach.
This was beginning to feel like Ultimate Search.
We were at the beach but we were looking for the beach.
There were huge boulders around that blocked a better path of the beach from our view. I could feel the disappointment in the air. This was so different from Elegushi beach which we were used to.
We packed our cars on a grassy lot. Yes, that’s right! The beach had grasses and we walked towards the shore. Then we saw it.
This was not a beach but a lake.
That’s right! A lake, which is defined as land surrounded by water. We could see the other shore. In fact there were machines and bulldozers manned by men in hard hats working hard at the other side.
Oniru beach was being sand filled.
I have never been more disappointed in my life.
Someone made a cruel joke about poor man beach and Village River.
While developmental projects by the government are highly commendable, it is important that we consider our environment and the sustainability of the earth.
Climate change and going Green is not about paying lip service to the latest campaign from the Western world, it is about preserving and protecting the environment for the future.
It is also important for us to develop the culture of safety.
We should not wait until the avoidable death of a young person before precautionary measures are put in place.
Many years ago, when I was an undergraduate at one of the federal universities, tragedy struck. The annex campus health center did not have an ambulance nor a doctor on seat until the sad and avoidable death of a student.
Many more instances abound of people not doing the right thing until an accident that could be prevented happens.
The habit and culture of medicine after death should be addressed and stopped.
On a lighter note…
We made the best of the day and we had undiluted fun. There was plenty to eat and drink. My little friends from Europe on seeing the party drinking cups wondered why the cups were so big! She exclaimed that everything about Nigeria is big. Big cups, big cars, big servings of food. She hoped we wouldn’t start getting big like the Americans.
But I happily assured her that the Stress of Naija life wouldn’t even permit it.
The day ended on a high note but I wonder if in two years’ time, Oniru beach will still exist or it would have been converted into the skyscrapers of the ongoing Eko Atlantic city project.
Anyway, I made a mental note to self, no more partying at Oniru lake beach.
WRITTEN BY: Martina Omorodion.
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