Flood leaves trail of sorrow, tears, and blood in S-West

THE Nigeria Metrological Agency, NIMET, had foretold of an impending flood in 28 states of the federation between September and October this year.

True to NIMET’s predictions, since the heavens opened up, it has brought stories of woes, sorrows, gnashing of teeth to the inhabitants of the hardest-hit states, including
those in the Southwest.

Ravages communities in Ondo In Ondo State, the persistent rainfall took its toll on some of the communities in the state as the heavy rains in the last few days have flooded many communities leading to the partial submerging of some houses and farmlands.

It was gathered that flood-prone areas in the state include Akure, Alade ldanre, Ogbese, Aiyetoro, Akungba, Ondo town, Akoko, riverine Ese-odo amongst
other towns across the state.

Aiyetoro flood occasioned by the rise on sea level

Most affected were the riverine areas especially Aiyetoro where over 2000 persons have been displaced as Sea incursion had claimed 75 percent of the community’s landmass, submerged its various primary, secondary and technical schools,
wiped off over 2000 buildings and crippled the economy of the people.

The rise in sea level has led to repeated floods in the community.

Vanguard gathered that the community has been battling with
the challenges for over 20 years.

The surge, according to findings, was occasioned by the failure of the government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to complete the N 4.6 b shoreline
protection contract awarded since 2006.

Benin-Akure highway collapses

Motorists and passengers were stranded following the collapse of a section of the Benin-Akure highway in Ifon axis of Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State
last week.

Residents within the area told Vanguard that the road caved in due to flooding which was said to have been caused by hours of heavy rains.

The only option to link Akure and Benin was to take a longer route as motorists go through Ore to connect Benin-Lagos highway before getting to Akure.

Flood ravages Ondo communities
Also, two communities affected by the flood include Akure, the state capital and Aponmu were houses, vehicles were submerged and property destroyed.

Sources said that many vehicles, particularly trailers, were all stranded, while the flood caused a river in the area to overflow its banks and made incursion to the surroundings.

A resident said: “Where the flood did much havoc was on a bridge at the Agbaluku area of Ikare. Water covered the bridge, making it impassable for even motorcycles and vehicles.

“Many travelers decided to pass the night until the water subsided early in the
morning.”

Some of the communities affected are Ikare Akoko, the headquarters of the Akoko North-East Local Government Area, Arigidi Akoko, Irun Akoko, Oke Agbe, in Akoko North-West LGA and Akungba Akoko and Oka Akoko in Akoko South-West LGA and some other towns and villages.

It was also gathered that after the heavy rain, the flood took over the roads in some parts of the affected communities, submerged bridges making roads impassable for the
motorists in the area.

Another source said: “At Irun Akoko, some houses were submerged by the flood while the River Dada at Semusemu Area overflowed its bank and covered the entire road, making it difficult for commuters to pass.”

2 commercial motorcycle riders swept away

Two lives were lost as commercial motorcyclists were swept away by flood in Ondo town last week while property worth millions of naira in the community was also destroyed by the flood.

One of the victims, identified as Aderemi, was the Chairman of the
Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Riders Association of Nigeria in the Ayeyemi area of the community.

Ondo Assembly goes tough on environmental law violators Sequel to the incessant flooding, the State House of Assembly has advocated punishment for people dumping refuses on waterways across the state.

The lawmakers at a plenary suggested that violators of environmental law should be
sanctioned with imprisonment in line with constitution provisions.

They called on concerned authorities to do the needful at salvaging the situation.

Residents lament
The residents of the affected communities urged the state government to expedite action on the ongoing road construction work in their councils noting that drainages have been blocked during the construction, preventing water to flow through.

They urged the contractor handling Ikare dualization road to speed up the project, adding that Ikare Akoko should be declared an ecologically-prone town to be catered for by the Federal Government.

However, the Director of Environmental Services in Akoko North-West Local Government, Mrs Yemisi Adeniyi, warned people to desist from building houses close
to river banks and urged those blocking waterways with refuse dumps to stop the act or face the

Akeredolu has approached World Bank to tackle flood problems

A top government official in the Ministry of Environment told Vanguard that measures put in place to control flooding in prone areas include payment of N500million as counterpart fund upon which the World Bank released $5million for the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP to ensure that the people living in erosion and flood-prone areas are secured.

The official, who spoke in confidence, said: “Drainages are being constructed and we are doing some advocacies to tell people what to do and not to dump refuse in the drainages to avoid getting them blocked.”

While declaring that flooding may be natural, he said most of them are manmade which could be addressed by the people to protect lives and property.

Ogun residents pay N100 pern passenger to cross on canoe Similarly, residents of
Olorunsogo and Ayesan in Ijebu Ode local government and Denro in Ifo local government area of Ogun State recently counted their losses following a heavy downpour which led to a flood in the two communities.

While residents of Ijebu Ode witnessed the flood following a heavy rainfall between Sunday 20 and Monday 21 of June 2021, those in Denro had their share in September 2021 and property worth several millions of Naira were destroyed in the two communities as houses and vehicles were submerged.

Residents of the two areas blamed the incident on ongoing road construction in the towns.

Speaking with Vanguard on the flood in Ijebu Ode, a resident, Sikiru Olamide, blamed the problem on the road construction going on in Molipa expressway, which he said affected the free flow of water in areas like Degun, Olorunsogo and Ikangba.

Olamide said: “This is not the first time erosion is disturbing us in Ayesan; many residents avoid this area because of the perennial flood.”

He equally blamed the problem on the architectural designs of the
area and the way people build houses indiscriminately without an official plan.

Also speaking, Adeola Olorungbebe, said the flooding was an incessant issue in the area, saying that the government had continued to promise us that the issue would be resolved, but it had always been a failed promise.

Olorungbebe said: “Since the Otunba Gbenga Daniel administration, the issue of
flooding had been the major problem of this area and the government kept promising us. Maybe this government will do the needful.”

At Denro, the residents resorted to using canoes following the flood that ravaged the area recently. As a result of the flooded bridge area at the Denro axis, residents now pay N100 per passenger to cross on canoe.

With the recent heavy rainfall, the overflow of the river in Denro has worsened the flooding situation in the area, and areas within the axis of the Akute-Denro-Ishasi road
have become unmotorable, while some houses were halfway underwater.

While a few residents waded through the flooded area on foot, canoes were also used to transport boards, market goods, and even a cake.

Residents have, however, called on the government to speed up the road construction process in order to ameliorate their plight.

Ogun govt reacts

Speaking on efforts by the State government in controlling the perennial flooding in the state, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Mr. Ola Oresanya,
blamed the residents for not adhering to the town planning laws and building houses on wetland and flood plains, the situation he noted had necessitated erosion.

Oresanya said: “As we approach the climax of the rainy season this
year, the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency, NIHSA, the metrological report predicted that Ogun State will experience flooding this year.

“Knowing the devastating impact of the previous flood disaster in the
State, residents of the State are advised to prepare for flash flood during the month of July, especially between 8th and 15th July 2021.

“Also, a high-intensity rainfall isbeing expected in September 2021 that will result into fluvial flood because the soil would have been saturated by then and likely release of water from Oyan Dam will compound the rise in water level.”

Many stranded as bridge collapses in Oyo

It was the same situation in Oyo State as many residents of Igbeti and Iluji community were left stranded earlier in the week after a heavy downpour took the community to a standstill.

Ogbomoso-Igbeti road was on Saturday submerged leaving several traders, farmers and other road users stranded.

The road is the link between Ogbomoso in Ogbomoso Local government in zone 3 geographical zone and Igbeti in zone 2 geographical zone of Oyo state.

It was gathered that the situation on the road was caused by heavy
rain on Friday night.

A trader, Saki Ayodeji, said that she left her house very early to be able to reach Igbeti from Ogbomoso but got stranded.

Another trader, Wale Alao said that he had some goods to pick up in Ogbomoso but now it is impossible to reach his destination.

Alao said: “No vehicle or motorcycles can enter from Oke Ogun and none of the ones coming from Ogbomoso can cross to the other side.”

Also, residents of Iluju community in the Oriire local government area of Oyo state were also on Monday left stranded after the bridge linking the community to other parts of the state collapsed.

It was gathered that the bridge was damaged by the heavy downpour that the community witnessed last Sunday.

This development prevented farmers, traders, and other residents of the community from carrying out their social and economic activities on Monday.

In addition, it was gathered that the development prevented students of the Community Secondary School who are currently writing their final exams
(WAEC) to gain entrance into the school.

VANGUARD

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