Drainage Project Vexes Oke-Koto Residents
A DRAINAGE project in the Capitol/Oke-Koto area of Agege is making residents sad, even as they appeal to the Lagos State government to come to their rescue.
Being a flood-prone area, the idea of constructing the drainage was conceived in 2008. Houses, and the road, which serves as alternative route to the ever-busy Lagos/Abeokuta expressway, had been repeatedly battered by floodwater, forcing some residents to relocate. The initiative was, therefore, most welcome, as it raised hopes that the days of complaints had been
numbered. Seven years on, however, the project stands abandoned.
It was learnt that the project, initially funded by the World Bank, took-off at the Capitol area in 2008 and stopped abruptly at Oniwaya junction following withdrawal of sponsorship. It was taken over by the Lagos State government and has dragged on for years, furthering the pains of people in the area.
When rain falls, the 6 by 10 feet drainage overflows and water pours into homes, business premises and worship centres, destroying property. According to sources, three people, in the last two years, have been killed after they fell into the drainage and were pierced to death by protruding iron rods. The road has also left its mark on the wear and tear of vehicles, and has crippled free flow of traffic.
At present, people who live there have taken it upon themselves to make the road accessible and stem the threat of flooding. A canal-like opening in front of one mosque along the road was partially covered through the effort of worshippers. Also, members of the Community Development Association (CDA) facilitated access to many shops and houses, whose entrances had been dug and left open during the construction.
Mr. Musibau Bello, an executive member of Alfa-Nla CDA, appealed to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to consider the plight of the people and save them from their troubles. One landlady, Mrs. Ramolatali Atanda, said residents had taken several steps to ensure completion of the project without success. She stressed that it was time government came to the assistance of the people.
When The Guardian visited the yard of the contractor handling the project at Hamani Street, Agege, the place was deserted.