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Save our souls, Lagos residents cry out over blocked canal

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The aftermath of Monday’s downpour in Lagos State has brought nightmare to residents of Kadiri Street, as the heavy rain brought more than just floodwater through the canal in their area. Along with the deluge were tonnes of plastics that have not only blocked the canal, constituting a nuisance and health challenge, but has also left the area flooded as the water has nowhere to channel through save adjoining streets and houses.
   
The canal, located between Kadiri and Karounwi streets, off Oduduwa street, Ijesatedo, has always been a nightmare for residents and motorists, but the situation has gotten to a head due to the fact that the canal hasn’t been dredged for more than two years. Residents became so agitated about the situation that they almost beat up The Guardian reporter who was taking pictures, mistaking her for a government official who was sent to access the situation. They angrily demanded if it was finally going to be cleaned. After assurances that the reporter was not from the state government, they started lamenting their plight on how the canal has become a cesspit of dirt and diseases.
   
Some street urchins who sat opposite the canal collecting money from tricycle operators that ply the route lamented that the canal has been abandoned and has been allowed to gather refuse for long. “This canal is serving so many areas and immediately rain falls, they pour all kinds of refuse inside the gutters. Where do they think the refuse goes? It is dumped here. Everyday, we treat malaria and all other forms of water and air borne diseases and we know it is because of the canal.

“Water and rainfall have nowhere to go so the smallest rain that falls makes the whole area flooded. The place is a low land naturally and is prone to flooding so this blocked canal has made a bad situation even worse,” one of them lamented.
   
Another who gave his name simply as Afeez said the flood has destroyed the roads, rendering it almost impassable. “Soon, cars would not be able to pass here again as the blocked canal has destroyed the roads. The commercial tricycles that used to ply this road have reduced drastically in number, preferring other routes. We want the government to help clear this canal and patch this road, we are dying,” he said.
   
The owner of the house (name withheld) just beside the canal claimed his fence was pulled down due to the force of the dirt and he fear for his health and the structure. “Most of my tenants have moved out because of this canal and I don’t blame them, who would want to live here? If I had somewhere to go, I would too. I am calling on the government to clear the canal.”


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