RESIDENTS of Lagos and Ogun have been displaced and property estimated at billions of naira destroyed after downpours on Saturday and Sunday left many streets and homes flooded.
PUNCH Metro learnt that many Christians could not hold their Sunday service as their churches were flooded.
A heavy windstorm in Tundun Yan-Dogo village of Dange-Shuni Local Government Area of Sokoto on Saturday also destroyed filling stations, cars and uprooted some poles in the community.
Our correspondents gathered that the worst hit in Lagos were residents of Oworonshoki, Bariga, Ketu, Ikorodu, Lekki areas, while more than 50 houses were affected in the Ita Oluwo area of Ogun State alone.
A pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Alapere, Ketu, Lagos, Pastor Bola Bolawole, told one of our correspondents that he could not hold church service due to the situation, adding that three of his members were trapped in the floods.
He said, “We could not access our church on Sunday even as of 2pm. The road was completely flooded and we were covered up in water to the waist level. We had to stand by a shop to hold the service, but the rain still drove us away from the place.
“After that, I went on visitation to some of my members and I saw many of them scooping out water from their homes. You can’t go to some parts of the community right now. Water has completely taken over Bakare and Oriola streets and other parts of Alapere. Televisions and fridges were submerged by the floods. Many people have been cut off from their homes.”
Bolawale explained that some residents were afraid that if it poured again, some of the buildings could collapse, calling for urgent government intervention.
A resident of Bariga, Bolatito Ibiyemi, said some parts of the community were not accessible due to the floods.
She said, “The rain has been intense. Places like Oko Oba, Amodu and Arobadade streets and Ilaje Road, have been rendered completely impassable. A church in Ayedun Street was flooded and the members could not hold their service.”
The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Michael Akindele, said the agency received distress calls from residents of Oworonshoki, Ifako, Ikorodu and Lekki areas.
He said, “Several property and items worth millions of naira were damaged, but no life was lost. The affected streets around the Oworonshoki area include Fasasi Ojomu, Ogunyomi, Abiola, Akewusola, Adebanmwo, Unity, Oduduwa and Agberin streets, among others, while Hassan Street in Owutu and some other streets were affected in the Ikorodu area.
“LASEMA’s Emergency Response Team was dispatched for the assessment of the affected areas to avert further disaster. The flood was exacerbated by blockages of some of the major drainages in the affected areas.”
The Lagos State Government has, however, called for calm among residents, saying necessary steps are being taken to avert flood disaster in the state.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare, in a statement on Sunday, explained that the state government had carried out a tour of some of the flood-prone communities to clear up blocked drainages and canals.
He warned that the government would no longer tolerate the building of illegal structures along drainage paths in the state.
He urged residents living on wetlands and flood-prone areas to relocate.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 200 residents were displaced after floods took over about 50 houses on Unity Estate in the Ita Oluwo area of Ogun State.
It was learnt that the estate was submerged around 12pm on Sunday after the fence of InoPlast – a nylon producing company in the area – collapsed.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the fence served as a barrier, which prevented water coming from Ogijo, a neighbouring community, from flooding the estate.
A lot of valuables were said to have been trapped in the floods as most of the dwellers had gone to church when the rain started.
The Chairman, Community Development Association, Mr. Femi Abolude, said 50 houses were affected by the floods.
He said, “This incident first happened about two years ago when the company’s fence fell. We reported the situation at the state governor’s office and the fence was reconstructed. But we queried the quality of the fence and after some time, water started streaming under it. The same fence fell again today (Sunday). The whole community was affected and about 50 houses were seriously flooded.”
Another resident, Paul Idogu, a lawyer, said all his credentials and property were destroyed by the floods and called for a quick intervention from the state government.
He said, “When I woke up around 12pm, I saw floods entering into my house. I was totally helpless. All my credentials and documents were submerged by water. We went to the company but none of the officials came out to speak with us. The police officers we met there told us to come back on Monday.
“When the fence fell two years ago, the company assured us that they would build a stronger one. But what they did was shabby. We wrote them while they were constructing the fence that it was not strong enough, but they didn’t listen. The government should find a way to save the situation. Proper drainage should be constructed.”
A landlord, Cosmas Okoro, said, “All our property has been destroyed. I am just praying the house should not collapse because water is everywhere. I don’t know where to start from. It was my daughter who came to call me from the church. We are just hanging around now; we don’t know where to go to”
An engineer, Christopher Okoro, said he was only able to salvage his television, which was hung on the wall.
“All other valuables, including my laptop, clothes, my wife’s credentials, were destroyed. As I speak with you, I don’t know what to do; I am stranded,” he added.