Residents of Ile Ife, Osun State, on Sunday counted their losses after a downpour wreaked havoc in the ancient city.
Many were also reportedly injured while trying to save their properties from destruction. Houses in Parakin, Mayfair, Damico, Asherifa and Ede road amongst other areas were submerged and properties destroyed at the areas affected by the rain.
PREMIUM TIMES correspondent who visited the communities after the rain observed that most residents were hurriedly trying to salvage their property after the downpour, which lasted for barely four hours.
A victim of the rainfall, Alabi Oyayinka, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES told our correspondent that all his property were detroyed before his arrival from Church.
“It saddens my heart to get home to realised that I cannot have access to my storey building apartment where I stayed at the ground floor. The flood took away every of my belongings and further made me homeless,” he narrated bitterly.
While narrating her ordeal at Parakin, Esther Aiyeomoni, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University said: “the rainfall finished my properties including my phone which already makes it difficult to reach my parents and inform them about my plight. I have test tomorrow but I can’t even think straight,” she said. “I ran out of the room with my shorts when I realised the water was already entering with full force. I need people to help me.”
At Ede road, where the flood also wreaked havoc, Summonu Aisha said the flood was caused by refuse clogging the gutters in her residence.
“The rain has done lots of damage. One of our neighbors fell and got his hand damaged while he was trying to save his property. He is presently at Seventh Day Adventist Hospital. The refuse in the gutter led us to this. It was not as bad as this last year.
“I rented the apartment for the sum of N200, 000 after the hike in rent recently, I never knew I would find myself in this mess. Nothing is as disastrous as this. I have no home, nothing to point to as my property. The flood filled my house to the window level. I was rescued by a male occupant who was available when the rain started,” a student, who simply identified herself as Bisi said.
Another student, Adebisi Elizabeth, told PREMIUM TIMES about her homeless state.
“Look at me now, I don’t have anywhere to stay and all my belongings as a student have been flooded away because when the erosion started, I had to run for my dear life.”
A resident, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES hinted at the intervention of some government officials, though unsure of the agencies they represent.
Oluwaseun Farombi , who resides along Ede road, explained that a fire service vehicle was spotted draining the flooded parts of the roads.
“We saw the fire service vehicle along Mayfair draining the water,” Mr Farombi said.
Another resident from the Ibadan Road area, Akeem Ishola, explained that the disaster almost claimed his life.
“The erosion that nearly caused my life is because almost all the motorable roads here in do not have drainage that even for a small rain people will be having difficulty in getting to their various place of resident,” he said
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Nigerian University and Administrative and Technical Staff Union.(NUATSU), OAU branch, Wole Odewumi, charged the monarchs of the two communities affected to provide measures to prevent future occurrences.
“The Ooni of Ile-Ife and the Oba of Modakeke should look for a way to solve this problem and prevent it from reoccurring,” he said.
He also warned the management of OAU, whose students were affected the most, to have a meeting with the landlords of the houses to reach a consensus on the accommodation services rendered. He added that most houses were built beside waterlogged areas and without a drainage system.
“You will get to some of these houses, where students stay and discover that those houses are not fit for animals not to talk of humans.”
A landlord at Asherifa part of the community, Musibau Adedokun, told our correspondent that a meeting to discuss the “best way to prevent the bitter experience they had on Sunday” had been called.
“Some of us we have to vacate our homes perhaps to churches and mosques to spend the night. Many have been psychological traumatised. An emergency landlord association meeting has been summoned to discuss a way out of this lost,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Osun State Commissioner for Information, Adelani Baderinwa, has blamed the federal government over the flood disasters.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Baderinwa highlighted that the affected roads are federal government’s responsibilities and not the state’s.
“It’s the federal road; and the facilities by which water could pass are too inadequate and that’s the cause of the flood,” he said.
He said officers of the Osun State Emergency Management Agency (OSEMA) have been deployed to the affected parts.
“We have dredged the river belt as usual and that’s the only reason why we’ve not had flood cases in recent times. But this one is peculiar is because it’s around where we have a federal highway.”
Mr Baderinwa noted that the only lasting solution to stop subsequent flooding in the areas is through the intervention of the federal government.
“We can only manage the situation; but a lasting solution is until the federal government will be contacted to come and do the places affected because the only solution is to have the reconstruction of those bridges and more bridges.”