The Chairman, Otitoloju Community Development Association (CDA) in Ayobo-Ipaja Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr. Ramon Raheem, has lamented the constant flooding plaguing the area.
Speaking to Our Community Newspaper in an exclusive interview, Raheem identified lack of a good drainage system as the cause of the flooding that has paralysed socio-economic activities in the area and rendered Onikonga road, a major access road in the area, un-motorable, especially during the rainy season.
He said that despite efforts to tackle the flooding that has ravaged the area, there has been no end in sight to the menace.
He disclosed that the member representing Alimosho Constituency 01 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Bisi Yusuf, donated N200, 000 to the community in an effort to help fix the drainage.
The CDA chairman added that residents of the community also raised little funds to assist in filling some terrible portions of the affected road.
Raheem, who lauded Yusuf for the assistance, however, explained that more was required to fully eradicate flood from the community.
“We thank our Honorable Bisi Yusuf. He assisted us. When rain was too much, he gave us N200, 000. The community also gathered a little money. That is why we were able to do something here. Before, it was a no-go area even for the vehicles.
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“The community has tried a lot. We have written letters. We gave letters to the local government even to the state but we are waiting for their response up till now. We are just begging the government to look at our area here,” he said.
Explaining that the road is a link-road to other routes in the area, he said, “This Street is Onikonga road. It reaches Ayobo, so that is why we are trying all our best to make sure that this road is motorable because it connects to the main (Ayobo) road.”
Raheem further explained that many landlords have relocated from the area as a result of the constant flooding.
He called on the government to assist the community to channel out floodwater from the area by the erection of a good draining system to ameliorate the menace.
“We have lost so many landlords because many of them have left their houses because of the flood. We don’t have anywhere to go and that is why we are here. So I can’t say because of this water, I want to go back to my village.
“But what really happened is if they can help us just at least to make it motorable. The water should be channeled out. We have where the water can be channeled to but we don’t have the power to channel it,” he said.
Another community leader, Mr. Adeola Kareem disclosed that the menace of flooding which he said has persisted for over 15 years has left indelible scars in the area.
He added that Otitoloju CDA is not in a swampy area that could have resulted in the flooding, calling on the government to come to the community’s aid.
Kareem said that the problem would be solved if the government could dig the drainage channel at Surulere Street outside and Akintunde Ayeni Street to join with the main drainage in Onikonga.
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He said, “When this place is flooded, school children cannot pass here. People have vacated their shops because of the flood. It is very dangerous. Hon. Bisi Yusuf tried his best for us. He listened to us. About 7 years ago, he dug two gutters for us so that the flood can be relieved. He brought excavator and dug from outside so that the erosion can reduce. But it is not enough. Unless the state government comes to our aid, the problem won’t be completely solved.
“This place is not a swampy area. When it flooded, it starts coming and covers the whole community. For 15 years, we have been going through this challenge. The state government needs to help us. If they can dig Surulere Street outside; and Akintunde Ayeni Street to join with the main drainage – that is the solution. We want the government to come to our aid to save our soul because year by year, the volume of the water is increasing,” Kareem, who is also a special adviser to the CDA Chairman, said.
Also speaking with Our Community Newspaper, the Chairman of Ayobo-Ipaja Community Development Committee (CDC), Comrade Abiodun Coker, described the state of the area as pathetic and uninhabitable for residents.
He noted that only divine intervention had prevented an epidemic from breaking out as a result of the flooding.
Coker said, “When we came in as CDC excos, we all visited the place and it was a very pathetic situation. It was an uninhabitable area. Through the help of God and the support of the excos and the political leaders especially, Prince Bisi Yusuf, we were able to source for laterite.
“We asked the community to come with their tippers to transport it to that area. Over 150 and 200 tipper-loads were dropped there. That shows the extent of the damage to that place. The place became motorable to a reasonable level.
“Sometimes the state government sends in an excavator but because the major road was bad (Ijon road), there was no way. So for the inhabitants to enjoy the road, we will plead with the government to provide drains for us so the flood will reduce to a reasonable level.
“It is only the state government that can come to our aid. It is beyond what the local government can do. We appreciate God for the health of the residents. If not, we would have witnessed the worst epidemic. God has been taken control,” he said.