By Bose Adebayo
For some weeks, many commuters and motorists have had bitter tales to tell of their experiences in coping with the challenges arising from the recent flooding of their communities which cut off the sole access road there.
This has been the lot of residents of the communities that border the road from Ketu to Ikorodu which was last tarred before Nigeria’s Independence in 1960. The situation is made worse by the fact that there is presently no alternative route to serve those plying this over-used road.
This was brought into focus by the recent overflowing of Ogun River which led to the area being flooded. Since then many residents have been finding it difficult to move in and out of the communities. Apart from that, precious man hours are lost on the road on daily basis, just as the cost of living has risen beyond measures due to transportation difficulties.
When Vanguard Metro visited the area last weekend, some commuters said they spend as much as N400 from Ketu to Ikorodu, particularly in the evenings, compared with N100 before the flood.
As a result, many of them who operate businesses in Lagos Island have resorted to staying outside Ikorodu and come home only on weekends to avoid some of these teething challenges.
A resident, Mr. Paul Oluwafemi, said in spite of his leaving Igbogbo as early as 4am to meet up with his daily appointment, he does not get to Ketu earlier than 6.30 am for a journey that should not have lasted up to 30 minutes.
Some residents who live along Majidun, Itowolo, Ajegunle and Ajilinti, for example, told this reporter they paddle canoes to their homes, while some of their transactions now take place inside these canoes.
Also, some residents said they have alerted on the danger of electricity poles being pulled down by the overflowing water, especially if the water level keeps increasing, warning this could easily lead to electrocution in case that happens.
They called on the government to save them from such impending but avoidable danger. “The poles can collapse any moment from now if the flood persists. It is better to disconnect the power supply instead of losing precious lives through electrocution,” said Mr. Oluwafemi.
Though the Lagos State government has offered a temporary relief camp to about 80 families who were affected by the flood, many of them claim the place is too far from their various places of work. “I work at Victoria Island, while my three children school at Ajilinti.
This will mean having to spend so much before we can meet up with our daily schedules. The distance between Agbowa community and Victoria Island is not a child’s play. This is a community almost at the boundary of Lagos and Ogun states on that axis,” lamented a computer analyst,who gave his name as Odunmbaku.
Vanguard Metro also observed indiscriminate parking by some motorists and most commercial drivers who make unlawful U-turns on the culvert regardless of the traffic regulations. A commuter, Susan, said she spends a whole day to get home.
“After boarding an Ikorodu-bound bus around 7.30 pm, we did not get to Itamaga, a community within Ikorodu environ until 2am and I could not get to my house. This ugly trend has caused a lot of confusion in some homes because my husband wouldn’t have believed me if he did not trust me; not all husbands can trust their wives to that extent,” she said.