Several residents of water-logged areas in Lagos have decried the destruction of properties and livelihoods caused by incessant flooding in Lagos.
Recent floods in Lagos have not spared many areas of the state including Agege, Alapere, Mushin, Surulere, Ikorodu, Lekki, Ebutte Meta, Lekki, Iyana Oworo, and many others.
PREMIUM TIMES interviewed several residents of the affected areas who attributed the incessant flood to the inadequate drainage system, clogged drainages and canals, and ongoing road construction in their neighbourhoods.
While many residents of the heavily flooded areas have relocated, some remained despite the hurdle, attributing their stay to financial constraint.
“I have been living in this house for over 15 years, in fact, I did my youthful days in this Alapere, before I got married and moved to this place. This place has always been flooded at every rainfall, sometimes, the flood leaves us stuck in the house when it is much,” Bose Apesin a resident at Ayo street, Off church street, Alapere said.
At the Agege area of Lagos, residents attributed the flooding they experience to the “unduly prolonged” bridge and road construction which is making life unbearable for them.
Fatai Akinwumi, a resident and house owner at Church Street, Agege, told PREMIUM TIMES that they have been in a terrible situation for more than two years since the construction of the Agege bridge commenced.
“It wasn’t like this before, we had to plead with the white man in charge of the construction to help us create a passageway for flood which he obliged.
“Despite that, the last rain left all residents with damaged properties. The flood was up to the knee level that very time, we are just recovering from it but most properties are damaged,” Mr Akinwumi said.
Mariam Hassan, a 48-year-old resident at Church Street, showed a PREMIUM TIMES reporter the degree of damage caused by floods.
Clothes and many household items were tied up in large lumps and rolled to one side of the apartment. Tenants at the apartment registered their anger at how exposed they are to flood.
“These are all the properties damaged by flood, it the rain starts during the day, we are more relieved because we are able to savage some of our properties, but during the night, we are left with no choice. No movement, phones damaged, no way to protect our properties,” Mrs Hassan said.
High cost of housing
Despite the state of houses at Ayo street, off church street, Alapere, some residents have remained there due to financial hardship.
Some houses on the street are gradually sinking to ground due to the impact of the flood, while shanties housing some dwellers have partially collapsed as a result of heavy rainfall.
Green algae have taken over the veranda of many houses on the street was there was an absence of a drainage system.
Adekanye Adeniyi, 47, who resides at Ayo street, narrated his ordeal.
Mr Adeniyi and his brother are the only ones occupying the 16-room apartment popularly called ‘Face me I face you’ as the house has become inhabitable.
“This is my father’s house, I moved here when my business was no longer profitable and everything I had finished. I cannot live under the bridge and I cannot beg on the street, so I accepted my fate and started living here,” the middle-aged man said.
Mr Adeniyi said all efforts to prevent flood have been unsuccessful given that the area is a swampy area.
Some other residents interviewed by PREMIUM TIMES also narrated how financial hardship has been a setback for them to relocate to better places.
“Houses are expensive in Lagos, in this area, if you want to rent a room you must have between 6,000 to 7,000 per month, excluding agent fees and agreement and other expenses,” Bose Apesin, a widow and a mother of four said.
Mrs Apesin said during heavy rainfalls, it is impossible for them to go out, while those that are outside cannot come in.
Lagos government Reacts
Efforts to reach Tunji Bello, the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, were not successful as calls and text messages received no response.
Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency, said efforts are ongoing to prevent further occurrence of flood in many areas in the state.
“We are collaborating with the Ministry of Environment to clear drainages and canals, this operation has been on even before the rains started and it continues,” Mr Oke-Osanyintolu said.
The LASEMA boss further said that the agency is sensitising and educating Lagos residents on Flood and ways to prevent it.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources said on Thursday that four Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state have a high probability of flood risk during the raining season.
The LGAs are Lagos Mainland, Mushin, Ibeju-Lekki and Ikorodu.
According to the statement issued by the Commissioner, the above areas will experience higher intensity of flood, especially from rainfalls between now and September.
He urged residents of the areas whose houses are in low lying areas to relocate to avoid the disaster that may come with flooding.
Other local governments that are expected to experience flooding are Lagos Island, Alimosho, Amuwo Odofin, Ikeja, Kosofe, Eti-Osa, Apapa, Ojo, Oshodi/Isolo, Agege, Ifako Ijaiye, Badagry, Surulere and Ajeromi-Ifelodun.
Mr Bello said the Ministry will intensify efforts at clearing and cleaning the drains as well as removing pet bottles and styrofoams that clog the drains.
He urged residents to desist from dumping wastes and pet bottles in the drains.