Mafoluku: Host of ugly streets with clogged drains
Is this also part of Akinwumi Ambode’s Lagos State? That is usually what irritates most first time visitors to this suburb of Lagos mainland.
Surrounded by Orile Oshodi to the east, high-brow Ajao Estate to the west, and the Murtala Mohammed Airport to the north, Mafoloku typifies shame to environmental sanity and urban planning.
From ramshackle buildings (some in corrugated roofing sheets), jutting haphazardly along short and narrow streets, to thoroughly washed off and defaced roads, Mafoluku remains in obstinate defiance to modernity, even as it suffers from perennial neglect from previous local and state governments.
The first unwelcoming sign of decay in the streets, which have not known repairs for a very long time, are drains seeping with putrefying admixture of human waste and disused food items.
Mafoluku is at its worst when it rains. Such streets as Old Ewu, Omilade, St. Paul’s, Branco among others, are often rendered impassable. Yet commercial motorcycles and motorists and pedestrians compete in harrowing struggle, for sparse leveled ground.
In the midst of the squalor, street side trading goes on, particularly along Omilade streets and its connecting link with Old Ewu road.
Iya Riskat, a street trader, who sells sundry food items in the area, is appealing to the governor to fix roads in the neighbourhood.
She is not alone in this as residents and bus drivers plying the roads, are equally complaining that the services they get from elected representatives, ranging from councilors to lawmakers, and even the state government, were not commensurate with the votes they cast during elections.
One of the bus drivers alleged that: “Politicians after elections just disappear into thin air. They prefer to work in the Island, Ikoyi and Victoria Garden City (VGC), where the big men live.”
A look at the state of roads in Mafoluku gives the impression that while a reasonable percentage of votes are harvested from such places in the state, greater attention is paid to uplift in areas that generate five percent votes during elections.
On account of the blocked drains, the rate of mosquitoe infestation in the area is quite high.
A staff of the council stated that, “with the situation of things right now, we cannot do anything about the roads you are referring to.”
He noted that council is only interested in patching roads with heavy traffic, stressing that the state government has strict control on council finances. Perhaps, until the economy improves, the ugly face of Mafoluku remains.