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Mother, child sleep in toilet as flood ravages Lagos community

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A mother, Abosede, 50, and her child have been forced to sleep in a toilet following last Friday’s downpour at Odubanjo, Igando community at the dumpsite by Oko-filling bus-stop, Lagos State.

Since the rains started, houses of many residents had been taken over by flood, while many families had fled, fearful for their lives. The rains did not only flood the community, but took over houses, forcing those who couldn’t leave, to look for elevated places to sleep.

According to the residents, every year, they live in fear of rains and when it is dry season, they inhale horrible stench from the dumpsite daily. Some of the refuse from the dumpsite has blocked major drainage while walls and fences, softened with the flood, have started crumpling like a pack of cards.

One of the displaced persons who have not abandoned the area is Abosede and her child, who took to sleeping in a toilet. The toilet, which is built outside the main apartment, is a bungalow, and is on an elevated ground. It has become a sort of a safe haven for her and her child.

She said: “I have been in this community for the past eight years. For years, this is how we have been living here and it is affecting my health, including the health of my child. The place is no longer conducive for us, but we can’t even afford another place. Whenever it rains, I and other women used to fight over right of space in the toilet, but most of the women allow me to have the toilet because of my age.

“I am married, but my husband is very old, too old in fact. He left the children and I. I hustle for myself and the children. All the property I moved with into this community have been destroyed. If we go out to work and it starts raining, we begin to worry and panic. We know there wouldn’t be a place to sleep. It means a night of trouble, cold and mosquitoes. When we return home to see our homes flooded, we go to bed hungry. There will be no place to cook.”

Abosede, who said she also cooks and eats in the toilet, said the community seriously needed government intervention. “Sometimes, it’s like we don’t have a government. We pray that God should touch our government. We badly need their help.”

Aside from the flooding, which appears to be the community’s immediate problem, residents also complain of stench from dumpsite causing sicknesses, while pigs and snakes have become part and parcel of the community.

The community is known as Zone one community under the Igando Estate Phase 3 CDA, which comprises six streets: Odubanjo, Alamu Olaleye, Ovwighoyoma, Kajola, Ogunmer and Otunba Oladokun. More than a thousand building and over close to half a million residents are at risk of losing their homes as the rains continue.

Secretary of the CDA, Samuel Ohwerhoye, said: “I have been here for over 22 years. It used to be the best place in town, but today, everything has changed. As residents, we have repeatedly tried, spending our resources to channel the flood, which has been occurring for years, but nothing appears to be working. Once it starts raining, we wouldn’t be able to stay in this area.”

The dumpsite here is also another problem; it pushes water back into the community. We pray Governor Sanwo-Olu, to come and look at our situation and proffer a solution.”

Another resident, Chief Offe Abiodun Michael, said the flood, coupled with fluids from decomposed materials from the dumpsite, penetrate boreholes, making their water dirty.

“I buy bags of sachet water everyday; and this is after spending money to build a borehole. It is painful. In order to bath, we had to go around looking for water. I’m asthmatic, once its rains, horrible stench and heat start emitting from the dumpsite, causing crisis for me. Our boreholes have been contaminated. Children and adults are plagues by sicknesses.”


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Lagos flood
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