Okota residents, commuters stranded as flood takes over roads
It was a herculean task commuting on the popular Ibiwoye road in Ago Palace way Okota and other adjoining roads in Oshodi-Isolo Local Council of Lagos State, following floods that threw commuters, residents and shop owners into distress.
The flood was exacerbated by heavy rainfalls and blocked drainage systems that have defied solutions.
Commuters were seen in large numbers stranded at the bus stops with little or no means of transportation as motorists, who did not want to be trapped inside the flood avoided the road.
Shop owners in the vicinity also complained of a lack of sales as residents use an alternative route.
An entrapped commuter, Mrs. Abimbola Olanegan called the state and local authorities to come to their aid.
Olanegan expressed concerns that the situation has led to an increase in transportation fares as motorists complain about the flooded road in that area.
She lamented that she comes out at the bus stop early, but still could not meet up with her work on time due to a lack of buses, while a few operating ones increased their fare up to 50 percent.
A resident at community road, Ago Palace Way, Okota, Chioma Enwerem, lamented that it was becoming difficult to leave home due to the flood.
She linked the flood to heavy downpours and a bad drainage system, saying there was no proper drainage in the area.
“It takes about a week or more for water to dry up after a downpour and when there is constant rainfall, it takes much longer, leaving the area with a horrible and stinky smell.
A commercial tricyclist, who plies Ago Palace Way route, Victor Nwafada, said he has stopped plying the road when it rains because of the damage he often witnessed on the flooded road.
He lamented that he is yet to offset the money he borrowed to fix the tricycle when it was damaged last week in the flood and will not dare to ply the road till the flood recedes.
Nwafada called for urgent intervention from the government and local authorities to arrest the problem and threat to their livelihoods.
A resident, Andrew Omoni, traced the blocked drainage system to indiscriminate dumping of waste in the drain.
He expressed support for the government’s decision to ban activities of cart pushers as well as the move to encourage the bagging of refuse by Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).
Responding, a senior management staff of the state ministry for the Environment and Water Resources, said the ministry had embarked on intensive clearing of drains through environmental drainage services to check the incidence of flash floods in the metropolis.
He called on residents to imbibe the culture of bagging refuse and patronising accredited PSP operators to check the incidence of flooding in the state.