Anxiety over threat to close cane village
Artisans and weavers at the popular Mende cane village were yesterday full of anxiety over the recent threat by the Lagos State government to close the village.
The cane village located under the Maryland-Odo Iya Oloro bridge has been in existence for more than four decades but the axis has recently been experiencing heavy flood any time there is rain.
The Maryland–Odo Iyalaro bridge was rendered impassable following last Thursday’s heavy downpour experienced in several parts of the metropolis. The flood affected vehicular movement in the busy Ikorodu Road, leading to traffic snarl.
Perturbed by the gravity of the flood, the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, had blamed the flood on improper waste disposal by the cane weavers under the bridge.
According to the commissioner, who spoke at a briefing, the cane weavers blocked the drain where the water from the bridge was to discharge into the main collector right under the bridge with concrete, leaving the bridge and the road flooded.
“When we investigated the situation, it was discovered that drain where the water was to discharge had been blocked because they said water was destroying where they are working. Are they supposed to be there in the first instance?
“I grew up to meet cane weavers under the bridge but if they are not going to be responsible because their fathers that started the business have all gone, we will have no choice but to ask them to leave,” he added.
But when The Guardian visited the area yesterday, there was an unusual quietness at the village. A weaver, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said although business is always low during public holidays, many of the weavers, however, did not come because of the fear of possible ejection.
According to him, the weavers and other business owners under the bridge and environs have taken steps to ensure that the drains move freely during last weekend’s sanitation in the state.
While not accepting all the blame for the flood, he appealed to the state government to rescind its earlier threat since some of the debris that block the canal normally came from as far as Opebi axis. “We have already set up points for proper refuse disposal,” he said.
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