The Ekki or Ironwood Lophira alata, is a hardwood tree that grows in swampy and rain forest habitats found in West Africa ranging from Sierra Leone to Cameroon including Nigeria. Ekki wood is highly durable, shows resistance properties to acid and insects and is almost inflammable.
For these properties, the wood is utilized in a wide range of products like heavy construction, of rail sleepers, flooring and decking of ships, jetties and furniture as well as for medicinal purposes. As a result, the tree is listed as Vulnerable on the International union for conservation of nature (IUCN) red list. Very few of the Ekki population thrives in south-western Nigeria including Lagos and LUFASI Nature park houses and protects some of these trees.
In a bid to achieve our strategic goal of conserving LUFASI’s forest and safeguarding the biodiversity in it and in helping to expand the forest cover across the state, the Ekki Reforestation project is one of LUFASI’s pioneer schemes for afforestation. The LUFASI forest has a high density of Ekki saplings as well as mature trees and efforts are being made to fortify our LUFASI boundary fence for optimum protection. LUFASI is determined to transplant these trees in other degraded areas of Lagos and around Nigeria.