By Rotimi Ojomoyela
THE rains that people long for as blessing, has turned to a curse, a source of agony and anguish for some residents of Ado Ekiti, following the downpour that submerged their residences, rendering them homeless and in complete despair.
This occurrence, which is not unconnected with global warming, has been considered as one of the natural catastrophes, with grave environmental consequences to the residents in the affected areas.
According to the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency, causes of flooding include soil moisture, extreme weather conditions, due to climate change.
Ado-Ekiti worst hit
In the last couple of years, the city of Ado-Ekiti has been prone to flooding, which has continued to ravage residents of the area, despite efforts by the state government and other relevant agencies to nip it in the bud.
In 2021, it was reported that residents of Ado-Ekiti were dislodged as a result of the havoc caused by torrential rainfalls, where goods worth millions of naira were affected in areas such as Balemo and Tinuola, off Afao road in the state capital.
Three days ago, residents of areas like Oshodi, Ilupeju Avenue, Ureje, Ita Eku, and Temidire Eminrin, a suburb of Ado-Ekiti metropolis, located along Federal Polytechnic Road, also lost valuable property to the flood.
It was gathered that the downpour began around 10pm, on Sunday, and subsided at about 3.22am on Monday.
The incident became worse for the residents of Temidire Emirin Community, as water from Ureje River swelled and overflowed the bank, thereby stopping students, civil servants and artisans from going to school and places of work, on Monday.
Residents in agony, count losses
Vanguard gathered from a resident of Temidire Emirin Community and victim of the flood, Jude Ajulo, who stated that they were sleeping in the house when the water suddenly submerged their residence and property around 2am.
His words: “This has been the occurrence every year. It happened in the same way few years ago before the administration of Mr Ayodele Fayose dredged Ureje River.
“The only way the government can help us is to dredge the river to be able to contain the water coming down from Odo-Ado, Oshodi, Ilupeju Avenue to our community.
“It is sad that our property and lives are threatened every time we experience a downpour and this shouldn’t be allowed to continue.”
Another resident of Oshodi community, along Afao road, Taiwo Osaleye, urged the state government to dredge the Elemi River that crosses the section to resolve the flood crisis.
“We have noticed that we always experience flooding any time the Elemi River overflows its bank due to rising water level. The only thing that can bring permanent solution is for the government to help us expand the river bank, so that the safety of our lives and property can be guaranteed.”
Ekiti govt is serious about disaster management—SEMA
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, said the Ekiti State Government has prioritised the safety of lives and property of its citizens.
The SEMA boss, Olajide Borode said: “You all know that the government of Ekiti State is serious about disaster management policy. Safety of lives and property is a priority of the current government and we won’t joke with it.
“Our officials are presently visiting the affected areas, so that we can get the correct information that can guide government’s action in resolving the issue.”
Borode added that SEMA had identified three councils that had been predicted to be affected by the flooding, warning people in such communities to relocate to safer areas.
“From the prediction of NIMet, we are expecting flood in Ado Ekiti, Ikere and Irepodun/Ifelodun local governmentn areas, but the state government is doing something about the dredging of canals in these councils.
“NIMet and NEMA had written to the state government about it. The letter was addressed to the governor. But even before the letter came, the state government has been doing a lot to see that the predicted flood that may affect the state will be minimal.”
On the preparation for the rainy season, he said: “About three months ago, Governor Kayode Fayemi directed and approved money for the Ministry of Environment to make sure they dredge all canals across the state. The job is still ongoing.
“Also, the state government procured about two amphibious dredgers that are in use now. By and large, we don’t expect to experience serious flooding with the way the government is clearing the canals and drains across the state.”
Looming flood foretold by NEMA
Few weeks ago, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, warned residents of the state of the impending flood disaster during a critical stakeholders’ meeting on Disaster Risk Management tagged: Duties, Functions and Responsibilities in Disaster Management.
The agency identified poorly-managed urbanisation, ecosystem degradation and poverty as major causes of flooding in the country.