Kunle Adelabu, Wale Jagun &Mariam Akinloye
-Igbogbo residents call for dredging of canals, drainages
Three days after heavy downpour flooded many roads and houses across Ikorodu division, many residents are still displaced from their homes which are currently waterlogged.
THE IMPACT had reported on Monday, June 28, 2020, that many residents across the division were sacked from their houses due to the flood that took over many areas in the division following the early hours downpour that lasted till late evening.
Our reporters, who covered the flood incidents in Igbogbo/Bayeku, Ikorodu West Local Council Development Areas and Ikorodu Local Government Area of Ikorodu Division, reported that many of the affected landlords at Igbogbo Central Mosque and WAEC/Ogboni areas said that they have never witnessed such flood in the last ten years or more that they have been living in their respective areas.
In the same vein, tenants whose apartments were also affected by the flood told our reporters that they have equally never experienced such flood since they have moved into their various residences.
Areas mostly affected by the flood were Bayeku road, Odofin behind the Igbogbo Central Mosque, Ogboni/WAEC area, Lajo, Oko – Ewe in Olu – Odo, Igbe, Offin and Awobo areas of Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA.
The situation was the same in Ikorodu Local Government as areas such as Eyita, Eruwen, Agura, Gberigbe, Odogunyan and others were taken over by the flood which extended from roads into various homes.
Our reporter, who covered Ikorodu West LCDA, reported that parts of Ipakodo, Ebute – Iga and Alogba Estate parts of the council were badly flooded with several houses, including the home of the Baale Ebute – Iga, massively waterlogged.
According to reports, there are also hues and cries of residents in other parts of Ikorodu Division due to the havoc wrecked by the flood.
Many were also said to have started moving out of their areas to another places to avoid further distressed encounter with the flood since the raining season has just commenced.
When our reporter again visited Ogboni/WAEC area of Igbogbo on Tuesday, residents of the area which was massively flooded due to the heavy downpour on June 28, and which we gathered prevented many in the area from going to work the following day, are still battling with the effects.
THE IMPACT also authoritatively gathered that the house of the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, His Royal Majesty Oba Semiudeen Kasali, which is located in the area alongside the houses of two other traditional rulers who also reside in the area are badly hit by the flood.
Aside that the interior parts of the monarchs’ houses were waterlogged, the flood was also said to have submerged their vehicles and that of the other residents of the area.
According to report, most of the buildings in Ogboni/WAEC area were submerged by the flood.
It was further gathered that the cause of the recent flood in the area was due to the unchecked overflow of Odo Ajewo (Ajewo canal) near Igbogbo cemetery.
THE IMPACT also gathered that the canal, which receives waste and erosion from several other canals and drainages from Ikorodu, usually discharge same into the Lajo canal which links the Lagoon.
However, due to the unfortunate experience caused by the flood, Oba Kasali, we gathered, had briefed the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and the Area Manager of the Ministry while an inspection team reportedly visited the area on that Sunday.
According to report, officials from the Ministry, led by the Area Manager, visited the area and went round to see the extent of damages caused by the flood. They promised that the Ministry will act accordingly after seeing the impact of the flood.
We gathered also gathered that some of the residents of the area have already abandoned their houses and relocated elsewhere.
It was also gathered that the Chairman of Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Builder Sesan Daini, had also contacted necessary authority on the clearing of the Ajewo canal.
On Tuesday, when our reporter again visited the community behind the Igbogbo Central Mosque, three streets – Adeniyi Ogunlewe, Ismail Salam (the street directly behind the Igbogbo Central Mosque) and Banjoko Rasaq, were most affected by the flood.
Many of the residents of the streets whose houses were affected by the flood were said to have been caught unaware by the flood as they were still sleeping when the rain started.
Many houses in the affected streets were submerged while the roads were rendered impassable for human and vehicular movements due to the heavy flood.
According to report, residents living in bungalows in the affected areas took shelter in friends and co – tenants’ apartments located on the upper floor of their houses or elsewhere alongside their families while they abandoned their flooded apartments.
While our reporter was on inspection visit to some of the affected areas, some residents were seen using pumping machines to pump water out of their apartments for a cost of#7,000, while those who could not afford the cost abandoned their apartments and took shelter elsewhere.
Our reporter also gathered that most of the properties of the affected residents like furniture, fridge, television set, rug, bed and other valuables were floating on water in many houses.
Mummy Fisayo, a single mother of two who resides in one of the most affected houses on Adeniyi Ogunlewe street, was yet to recover from the shock inflicted on her by the flood. The woman, who sells cooked food, has been economically affected since the commencement of the COVID-19 lockdown as students who are her major patrons no longer go to school.
She was also unable to cook throughout the lockdown period because she had to use all her earnings to feed herself and her two boys.
However, her attempt to restart her food business has once again been dealt another blow as the food items like rice, beans, garri and wheat, which she kept inside her room were completely soaked by the flood which entered her room while she and her children were asleep.
“I have been trying to get back into business by buying food stuffs and keeping them at home. My intention was to buy as many food items as possible before starting the food business again so that I won’t have to be buying in bits but this downpour dealt a big blow on my plan”, she lamented.
“I lost so much to the flood. I cannot cook to sell now because of this setback. In actual fact, others affected by the flood and l have been staying with other tenants living upstairs”.
Fisayo’s mother’s fridge, bed, chairs, clothes and other valuables are also affected by the flood.
The situation was the same for her neighbor, Iya Rilwan who lives next door to her. Like Fisayo’s mum, Iya Rilwan properties were also affected by the flood.
It was also gathered that Iya Rilwan too has not been able work since the lockdown because she works as a non –teaching staff in a private school.
She also lost many valuables to the flood like many other residents on Ogunlewe street and other adjoining streets.
Mr Lanre ‘ari-ajia, a resident of Awobo community in Igbogbo in his message to THE IMPACT, said that the heavy rain on Sunday flooded the main entrance into the community and made it impassable.
The resident who also said that properties worth millions of naira were destroyed by the flood also added that residents of the area are asking for the government intervention in the area of providing drainage system to forestall future occurence.
Mr Hammed Sholanke, who resides at Ogboni/WAEC area, was still unable to step out of his home on when our reporter spoke with him on the phone on the second day of the incident due to the flood on his street.
He complained that the cause of the flood in and around WAEC/Ogboni area was due to the failure by the Lagos State Government to desilt wastes from the Odo – Ajewo (Ajewo canal) near Igbogbo cemetery.
“I did told officials of the Ministry (Environment) that came yesterday that they have neglected Igbogbo. Other canals have been desilted but the Ajewo canal which is at the receiving end of waste from Ikorodu has not been attended to for years”, he complained.
He said that it is high time for necessary Ministry to intervene and desilt the canal to give residents respite.
He suggested that the Ministry of Environment should create department of drainage and canal in all the councils in the state with primary the focus of dealing with drainages and canals.
“The best way to address issue like this is to create department of drainage and canal services in all the local governments for effective monitoring of canals and drainages”.
Mr Monday Ohi, a community developer and social media commentator, also had sad tales to tell about the flood situation on his street and the entire Lajo community which was also sacked by the flood.
While charging government, both at the state and local council levels, to pay more attention to fixing of roads, he also urged them to construct drainages to resolve the flooding issue.
He also charged community development associations and residents to help in addressing the situation by constructing drainages when they build houses and desist from disposing wastes into drainages and canals.
While the Ota – Ona canal by Abel Abu’s house has experienced constant attention in recent time, same cannot be said of De Cubano/Oriwu/Igbe, Olu – Odo, Solomade and and Ajewo canals.
It was gathered that wastes from the central of Ikorodu Local Government, especially from drains in areas like Obun – Ale and Ijomu, are always deposited into the Oriwu Merchant drains alongside those from Aga, Adaraloye and adjoining areas for onward deposit into the Ajewo canal which links Lajo and finally into the lagoon.
Also, waste from Ota –Ona/De Cubano/Anibaba/Oriwu College and Odo Afa are equally being deposited into the Ajewo canal .
Odo Afa, we also gathered, is also suffering from negligence which has been causing many residents so much pains, particularly during raining season.
Also, wastes dump in Igbe – Surulere Estate and HOMAT drains, our investigation also revealed, are also being deposited into the Ajewo canal, while wastes from Club 24, Itunmokun, Meri, itun –Abosan and Odofin areas of Igbogbo are being deposited into the Ajebo canal.
In recent times, residents have also complained about the activities of the Hitech Construction Company handling the reconstruction of Ipakodo – Igbogbo – Afa road, especially the construction of the big culvert over Ajewo canal.
The blockade of the canal for construction of the culvert has also been pointed out by the residents as another major cause of the flooding problem which residents have been facing recently.
Speaking with Builder Sesan Daini, the Chairman, lgbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, at the home of the Adeboruwa of lgbogbo when he visited on the second day of the flooding incident, he confirmed that the Adeboruwa has made contact with the Ministry of the Environment.
He also stated that the council had also made formal contact with the Ministry to see to how the issue of the flood ravaging Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA would be tackled.
THE IMPACT also gathered that Builder Daini has sent independent team to assess the impact of the flood in various parts of the council and the report formed part of his presentation to the Ministry of Environment.
When our reporter visited the home of Oba Kasali on Monday, June 29, 2020, the royal father was in great spirit while attending to visitors that came to identify with him.