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Rain wreaks havoc on Ahmadiyya community

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Floodwater at Ahmadiyya

Residents of Ahmaddiya Community, Beckley Estate, along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Lagos State are still counting their losses, following the havoc wrecked by last Monday’s early morning downpour.

Worse hit in the disaster were houses and shops located on Oshimade Close and Bamidele Street, off Edun Alaran Road, off Ahmadiyya Road. They were submerged by the rainwater.

Even though no deaths were recorded, affected residents and shop owners lost electronic sets, furniture, and goods worth millions of naira.

When The Guardian visited the area, some roads had become impassable, drainage blocked, while some residents were seen scooping water from their houses, just as others were battling to salvage what was left of their property.

The Guardian learnt that the trouble started last year when the Lagos State government embarked on the rehabilitation of Edun Alaran and 14 other streets around the area.

The residents alleged that water channels were compromised, and the contractor failed to provide sufficient outlets for rainwater to be evacuated into the canal. Consequently, the water that collects in the available channels always find their way back into the neighbourhood.

Findings also show that whenever the valley overflows, the flood water retreats to the two worst affected streets resulting in the massive flooding that has forced many to contemplate relocating from the area.

One of the victims, Mr. Olusegun Awesu of No. 11 Oshimade Close, who took The Guardian round the affected areas alongside his wife, lamented that the flood destroyed several property in the area.

“We have been experiencing this since last August when the drainage was completed and the impact has been hard-hitting every time there is a heavy downpour. Since the drainage cannot hold the increased floodwater, it now flows inwards. There is a fence close to us that has also been obstructing the flow of water, but the owner claimed that the state government approved his building plan, so there is nothing that we can do about it.

“A civil engineer with the Lagos State government rubbished the ongoing construction works after seeing what is going on here, and that tells me that something is professionally wrong with the ongoing project. Even non-engineers are also faulting the failure to provide manholes that would channel floodwater into the canal. I understand from sources that the Ministry of Works was not even involved in the entire project. Perhaps, if it was involved, it would have known how to assist us.”

Awesu appealed to the government to provide water outlets through Beckley Estate in order to allow rainwater to flow into the canal

Another victim, Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu of No 10 Oshimade Street, said it would be difficult to estimate the damage done by the flood for now, as residents were still counting their losses.

He said the flood was more intense on the street compared to others as 14 houses were affected, stressing that the situation was not that bad before the road construction started.

“After the construction work, water now flows from everywhere down to this place and the outlet at Beckley Estate is so narrow that as soon as water gets there it starts flowing back to Oshimade Street.”

Dr. Michael Amosu, a resident described the situation as terrible, considering the magnitude of losses suffered by residents.

“This is a thing that shouldn’t have happened, but this problem started at the inception of this construction. We did our best, but the situation seems to have gone out of hand. A part of my fence was equally destroyed by the flood. This indeed is a disaster to some of us living on this street.

“This is not the fault of residents, but that of the contractor that got the job. We did not generate the floodwater that caused this havoc; the water comes from as far as Ijaiye. Though this is a wetland, but the contractor should have given us good water channels. We advised them to link the channel to the main road, but they told us they were engineers and so know what to do. This is what they have caused. The contractor didn’t get it well.”


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