Flood’s fury submerges houses, sacks residents in Lagos, Rivers, Enugu
• Lagos gives quit notice to owners of property blocking drainage in Lekki, Ikoyi
Two weeks after highbrow cities of Lagos – Victoria Island and Lekki – experienced the flood’s fury, the mainland parts of the aquatic city did not escape the invasion. Hours of a downpour on Saturday left some areas like Surulere, Yaba and Canal View Estate in Jakande Estate, Ejigbo flooded.
In fact, many residents have given the state a new moniker, the ‘Lagoon State.’ Other states like Ogun, Rivers and Enugu, were visited with severe rainfall and attendant deluge in equal measure like Lagos.
About 70 buildings, including churches, vehicles, and household items were among properties swept away by a two-day downpour in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital. The rain started around 8:30a.m. on Saturday and was still pouring as at 4p.m. yesterday when this story was filed.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) office complex along Aba Road in Port Harcourt and several other parts of the city were submerged. Some residents, especially those living within Mkpolu, Rumuolumeni, Rumodumanya in Obio/Akpor Local Council and those in D/Line in Port Harcourt City Council of the state have begun relocating to other areas, as houses were being seriously affected by the flood. Though no life was lost, valuables worth millions of naira were destroyed.
Some churches could not hold Sunday service as flood took over worship centres while other churches recorded low turnout due to the rain.Grieved by the development, residents have blamed the incident on the poor drainage system in the state, noting that the state government was warned about the flood but regretted that no serious step was taken to address it.
One of the residents who lives at Mkpolu, Mr. Emma Ibe, said: “The state government concentrated so much on road construction without putting into consideration other factors like flood prevention. The contractors didn’t help matters as they failed to put in place standard drainage systems, which could absorb water.”
Efforts to get government’s response to the development was futile as the Special Assistant to Governor Nyesom Wike on electronic media, Simeon Nwakaudu, failed to respond to several calls from The Guardian. It would be recalled that the governor recently dissolved his cabinet.
For residents of Meniru, Igwe Goddy Ekoh, One day Road, Agbede and adjoining streets in Awkunanaw, Enugu South local council, Enugu State, Saturday will remain one of the dates they may not forget in a hurry. It was the day an over three hours rainfall wrecked havoc, which many of the residents are yet to come in terms with.
A three-storey building undergoing roofing, several household items, perimeter walls, cars, economic trees and other valuables were either destroyed or drowned by the massive flooding that came with the rains.
The Guardian, which visited the area yesterday discovered that about 10 cars parked inside the compounds were heavily shattered by the walls, which were pulled from their foundation by the flood.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who last week undertook a tour of public places that included markets in the state, had lamented the level of distortion in Enugu’s master plan by indiscriminate setting up of structures. He directed the state Ministry of Environment to begin demolition of structures that are illegally built.
This is the same measure the Lagos State government is adopting as it yesterday ordered owners of properties erected on drainage channels impeding the free-flow of water to immediately vacate or risk being removed.
The government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, expressed dismay that the lawless activities of some people was constantly putting the lives and property of residents at risk.
He listed some of the areas where properties were erected on drainage channels to include Ilubirin, Dolphin Estate, Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Osapa London, Ikota, Ogombo, Lekki, among others, noting that the massive investment of public fund into drainage clearing and de-silting had been compromised by structures hindering the free-flow of water.
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