By Bose ADEBAYO
Now Signs that the late rainy season is eventually coming to an end, appears to have raised hope that the flood ravaging some communities abutting the Ogun River will soon subside.
While the Lagos State government has offered a temporary relocation at Agbowa, an outskirt of Ikorodu, some residents of Isheri community in Ogun State still battle with the flood even as many of them claim they were duly warned about the situation by the state government.
Some days back, the two states had appealed to the Federal Government to come to their aid to avert any unforseen contingencies. This was after their governors had visited the various communities so affected.
While some residents of Isheri still use canoe to move in and out of their homes, the already bad traffic situation at Ajegunle continues to grow worse as residents spend several hours before they get to their various destinations.
Although government has provided a 60-seater bus to convey victims from Irawo bus-stop to Ajegunle, residents still claim the gridlock has been a terrible experience for them.
Some residents who spoke with this reporter said the state governments might need to provide some medical assistance to these communities as they are being threatened by epidemic from the stench emanating from the flood.
One of the victims who simply gave his name as Baba Lara said apart from the fact that flies have taken over his community, residents now cover their nose or stay away from the community to avoid the stench. ‘’My business is in this community but nobody can withstand the odour being caused by the flood. Some children are on sick bed because they cannot withstand it,’‘ he said.
Another resident of Magboro, Kokumo Muhammed also complained that his community is suffering from a similar bad odour. ‘’The government should have known that the flood will result to cholera; we are waiting for them to come and give the necessary treatment before we all die of epidemic,’‘ he said.
‘’If there is anything the government can do to save the situation, they should do it fast, including providing us with disinfectant. If not they should prepare for a mass burial of those who will die from the resulting epidemic,’‘ said Martins Anyanele, a resident of Igbogbo.
In a chat with Vanguard Metro, Ogun State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Sina Kawonise said the state had previously declared the affected area a disaster zone, saying the situation is not something the state government could handle alone. ‘’It is caused by the prolonged rain; it is always a temporary thing which is caused by global warming even in the month of October.
We have gone round the affected communities and have called on the Federal Government to assist in all ramifications. There is something we call ecological fund which we hope to make use of.
“Flood is a natural disaster in the immediate and distant areas which has affected a lot of our people in Riverview. It has also affected the government in many areas because a lot of tax-paying companies are situated in these communities and many of them are affected by the flood,’‘ said Kawonise.
The government promised to pay more attention to the affected areas in terms of sanitation and pledged to offer a permanent solution to the situation.
The Commissioner said there is no plan by government to relocate the victims. ‘’The issue of relocation does not arise because it is a temporary problem. The flood is already drying up and Ifo Local Government has provided some sanitation bags to take care of this and we hope the situation will be under control,’‘ he added.
In Ajegunle, Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA has also provided more refuse bags for the communities.