Again, flood wreaks havoc in Lagos
• TV Station temporarily shuts down over flood, Oyan Dam release
• Agudama community protests as flood claims two in Bayelsa
For the second weekend in a row, residents of Lagos State were trapped in their homes and some others spent hours in traffic as a result of the flood following hours of downpour yesterday.
The clouds had darkened since Friday, showing signs of an impending rain, but it was yesterday when the clouds opened its bowels and the rains poured. The showers continued non-stop, affecting people in different parts of the city.
On Friday, the state government had alerted residents of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and other parts of the state that flood could last throughout the weekend, owing to the release of water from the Oyan Dam. Following the flood occasioned by the release of water from the dam, which has submerged its headquarters office in Ogun State, the management of Core TV News has announced a temporary shutdown of the station.
In a statement released at the weekend, the Managing Director and founder of the station, Olajide Adediran, said the decision, though a painful one to take, was designed to safeguard the lives of its members of staff and the station’s multi million naira equipment from further damage. He urged the Ogun State government and other stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the issue of release of water from the Oyan Dam, assuring the general public that the station would bounce back in the next few days once the situation improves.
He said: “The operations of the station have become near impossible over the last 48 hours following the rise in water levels in its discovery gardens estate headquarters within the Isheri/Opic estates just off the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. We plead with our staff members and our teeming viewers to be patient and endure with us, we shall come back on air as soon as the situation is receded.”
The Lagos State government had earlier warned that the state may record more flooding owing to the rise of water sea level. The lagoon is said to be having difficulty discharging water into the ocean causing backflow into the drainage channels. But Environment and Water Resources Commissioner, Tunji Bello, says officials are working on different measures to remove the constriction and blockades to ease free passage for the resultant flooding.
The state government is also in talks with the officials of the Ogun Osun River Basin Authority, which is releasing water to do so gradually. He explained that the rise in sea level has contributed to the current flooding in many parts of Ikoyi, V.I, Dolphin and Oworonshoki as the lagoon cannot discharge and is causing back flow into drainage outlets.
Meanwhile, residents of Agudama community yesterday took to the streets of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital to protest against the death of two persons, Jeff Julius, aged 22, and Adeni Julius, who drowned while crossing the flooded Epie Creek on Friday night.
According to eyewitnesses, the deceased and five others were ferrying cross the Epie Creek in a canoe from the Mbiama/Yenagoa Road to their residence, at about 11:00p.m. on Friday when their canoe capsized.
It was learnt that local residents managed to save five occupants of the ill-fated canoe but that by the time they could rescue Jeff and Adeni, the current of the flood had swept them under water where they drowned. It was further learnt that several efforts to recover the bodies of the deceased proved abortive until the early hours of Sunday when the bodies resurfaced as a result of change in the density of the bodies.
Speaking on behalf of the grieving father, uncle of the deceased, Mr. Julius Diepreye, blamed the government for the death of his nephews, saying the government has continuously failed to live up to its responsibilities.
“The reason is that government has failed to construct the road linking this area to Igbogene. For government to build a 100-meter bridge across the creek is a problem. So what we normally do every year is to use a canoe to cross over to the city each time there is flood. As a result of this I lost two of my nephews. I am not asking government to give my family money, I am not asking government to give us relief materials as flood victims because I don’t need it. What I want government to do is to construct our road so that there would be no more loss of lives and properties. If the state government cannot do it, then the NDDC should do it for us.”