Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts of Ojodu-Berger Road Upgrade, Lagos, Nigeria
Extensive road project in large cities produces diverse impacts. This study attempts an assessment of the environmental and socio-economic effects of a recent road upgrade, the mitigating measures of adverse effects experienced and their effectiveness in Ojodu Berger community, a major transport node in Lagos, southwestern Nigeria. Using a survey research design through questionnaire administration, 120 respondents comprising of 50 residents, 40 traders and 30 transport operators were sampled using the purposive sampling technique. The Relative Significance Index (RSI) of project impacts was measured using 27 variables as identified in the literature and general observation of situations in the project environment before the survey. On a 5-point Likert scale at the pre-construction, construction and post-construction phase of the project. The study reveals poor environmental conditions at the pre-construction phase, which became escalated in the construction phase; noise pollution is the most significant impact (RSI = 4.36). At the post-construction phase, encroachment on pedestrian facilities is the most significant impact (RSI = 4.20). Socio-economic impacts such as increased rental value, unemployment and displacement of businesses were also significant. The Mean Index (MI) of 3.14 for the construction phase impacts was the highest compared to 3.00 at the pre-construction phase and 3.02 at the post-construction phase. Mitigating measures against adverse impacts were both effective and ineffective, while some adverse impacts were not mitigated. There was no clear evidence that an impact study was done before project implementation. The study recommended strong government commitment to environmental and social impacts assessment of road development, more robust stakeholders' engagement for the formulation of strategies and measures to address the adverse impacts of similar projects in the future.
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