Flood disconnects five Ibadan communities - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Sunday, July 16, 2023

Flood disconnects five Ibadan communities

Residents of Araromi Oke-Omi community in Egbeda Local Government Area of Ibadan have cried out to Governor 'Seyi Makinde Oyo State over their helpless predicament occasioned by surging flood at 'Odo-omi river at Araromi in Oke-omi area, Ibadan.

The leaders and residents of the affected communities stated in their separate interactions with newsmen that several efforts have been made to get governments at both local and state levels to address the life threatening situation that has also crippled trading and local commerce within the five communities before they became displaced by the flood proned surging river.

The Chairman of Araromi Oke-Omi/Arekemase Community Development Association, Alhaji Afolabi Lateef told Vanguard that it was initially an ordinary erosion that had since expanded so large that it has since become a threat to residents of the affected communities due to inability of governments to come to their rescue.

He narrated that Governor Makinde had personally visited the river before and also made promises to provide a lasting solution after which government agencies from the state ministry of works as well as delegates from Ibadan Urban Flood Management (IUFMP) at several intervals all to no avail as the situation continued to worsen.

He added that car owners and other tricycle and motorcycle owners, residents in the affected communities have turned the river bank to their parking lot where they must all leave their vehicles before proceeding to their various homes by trekking through the pedestal overhead bridge which serves as a temporary means to escape being drown or washed away by the surging river.

Alhaji Lateef explained that leaders of the five affected communities comprising Ogundipe, Kumapayi, Idi-osan, Oke-alafia, and Arekemase, in their desperate measures to provide temporary succour for residents of the areas by creating access to move freely went out of their way to contribute personal monies to construct a pedestal bridge raised above the river surface level.

While appealing to both Egbeda Local Government and the state government to urgently come to their aid by helping them construct a standard bridge which would enable both pedestrian and vehicular movements, Alhaji Lateef also appealed to World Bank through the Ibadan Urban Flood Management (IUFMP) to prioritize their request in order to restore normalcy.

He said: "This is the only road connecting the five affected communities and as you can see, the river has taken over the road so people can not freely go out or return to their homes after work except they park their vehicles here at the river bank and proceed by trekking several distance to reach their various destinations."

"This Odo-omi river has been like this for over twelve years without any practical solution and it has sadly, continued to expand more and more."

"Anytime it rained, especially heavy one, we become perplexed in this area because we would be unable to cross over to the other end of the river, same way those coming from that end won't be able to cross over to this side."

"The heavy rain that fell last week Tuesday evening till morning of the next day recked serious havoc because people including our wives and children could not return to their homes, many even resorted to sleeping over in their vehicles parked here at the river bank."

"So, we're sending this as a save our soul message to our amiable governor to help us urgently before we start to, God forbid, record avoidable casualties," Alhaji Lateef narrated.

One of the traditional leaders in one of the affected communities, Chief Mukaila Salau Akindele, the Otun Baale of Kumapayi, who described the river as 'fantastic' lamented that former governor, late Abiola Ajimobi also visited the river yet, nothing physical was done about it till the administration expired before the emergence of governor Makinde's government.

Other affected community leaders and landlords mostly aged persons who spoke with this correspondent include Alhaji Akanbi Lukman, Mrs. J. O. Anisere, and Mrs. Adetunji Mojisola. They all lamented their predicaments and appealed to Governor Makinde, who they described as friend of the masses to come to their rescue as the river surge especially during rainy season.

In his reaction when contacted via phone call, the Executive Chairman of Egbeda Local Government, Sikiru Sanda, acknowledged the plight of the affected communities, while pledging to lead a delegation to visit the river with a view to engaging leaders of the affected communities and proffering a lasting solution.

While appealing to residents of the affected communities, Sanda disclosed that the project required to put a lasting solution to the situation was huge and bigger than the capacity of the local government stressing that his office would however, liaise with the state government and other relevant authorities to provide a lasting solution.

"First of all, I must apologise to them over the development. Even though the situation has been there for about twelve years as they have said, the present administration under Governor Seyi Makinde came in just few months above four years. What that means is that the situation has been there for a long time."

"This is something beyond the local government level, I want to appeal to them however, that should liaise with us at more at the local government so that we can do the same with the state government in order to forestall future occurrence of such."

"The Seyi Makinde led government is a listening and responsive government that has done and has continued to do so much for the people of Oyo State. So, I just want to appeal to them to partner with us more so that we can together find a lasting solution to this issue," Sanda said.

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