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Residents seek action as flood sacks Lagos communities

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It was open heavens all through the weekend as Lagos, the state of aquatic splendour, reeled under the deluge of floods, as communities were submerged, drains blocked and homes sacked.

From the east, west, south and north of the state, it was hours after hours of downpour. When appeared some respite, the grumbling cracks of thunder forces a repeat and the rains poured in torrents.

The ensuing flooding did not only create panic but forced most people indoors and displaced others. It also destroyed property in Ajah, Alimosho, Ikorodu and those on the plains of the Ogun River in Isheri.

Among the property destroyed were personal belongings of residents washed away by the flood and collapse offences. The rain also created severe gridlocks, forcing motorists, looking for alternative routes in the bid to avoid car-wrenching gullies and potholes, to drive against traffic.

A police station on the Ibeju-Lekki Expressway was so flooded after the downpour that it almost covered all the vehicles parked within the station’s premises. The destruction also extended to Ogun State. Mostly affected areas in Ogun include Kuto, Isale-Igbein, Lanfewa, Amolaso, Ijeun-Titun, Ago-Ijesa, Abiola Way, Isale Abetu, Sokori, Igbore, Oke Mosan and Isale Ake area, all in Abeokuta South and North local government areas.

Residents were counting their losses while pleading with the state government to come to their rescue. Residents of Hope Estate in Okota area of Lagos, lamenting how flood is wreaking havoc in their communities, have called on the state and local government authorities to come to their aid.

According to the chairman of the estate, Chief Lynus Okafor, the flooding challenge faced by the community was caused primarily by the neighbouring estate and the companies around them that failed to construct drainage on their property, thereby blocking the outflow of water from the estate.

According to Okafor: “Since we made the complaints, nothing has been done and the situation has become worse, especially since the rains began. Snakes disturb us here and most of the people have had to raise their houses above ground level to avoid rain sacking them from their apartments.”

Hundreds of residents at Igbogbo, Oreta, Offin, Bayeku, Lajo, Owode-Ibeshe, Agunfoye and Awesu communities in Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area of Lagos have been rendered homeless by last week’s flood. Even the residence of Igbogbo monarch, Oba AbdulSemiu Orimadegun Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo Kingdom, was not spared from the damage.

A resident of Bayeku, Omotayo Oduala, attributed the flooding to lack of drainage system in the community. He therefore urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) to come to the rescue of victims.

One of the victims from Lajo community, Adekambi Muftau, said over 500 houses were submerged. “People are making frantic effort to save some of their properties. We are urging the state and local governments to find a lasting solution to the problem,” he added.

The president/CEO of SWEEP Foundation, Amb. Obuesi Phillips, also made an urgent appeal to the state government, the private sector and other civil society stakeholders to seriously address the menace of plastic waste pollution in Lagos for a lasting solution to flooding.


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