Flood wreaks havoc in five Ibadan communities - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Monday, July 24, 2023

Flood wreaks havoc in five Ibadan communities

Residents of Olodo community in Egbeda Local Government Area of Ibadan, have called for assistance from government and various stakeholders, following the heavy downpour that ravaged some parts of the communities in the local government on Sunday.

The places where the rain wreaked havoc include, Femiti-Oluwa OkeOdo Alapata/Olosaoko, Ogungbade, Ogundipe and Araromi Oke-omi.

However, the residents are seeking for the creation of an alternative route along the Ibadan-Iwo-Oshogbo to ease their pains. 

Residents and travelers were left stranded as passengers were forced to trek through dangerous terrain after the heavy rains washed away a significant portion of a major road, rendering it impassable.

The Chairman of Araromi Oke-omi/Arekemase Community Development Association, Alhaji Afolabi Lateef said, 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 Seyi 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 delegation 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 pedestrian overhead bridge which serves as a temporary means to escape being drawned or washed away by the surging river.

Alhaji Lateef explained that leaders of the five affected communities 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 local and state governments to urgently come to their aid by helping them construct a standard connecting overhead bridge above the river surface level at Odo-omi which would enable both pedestrian and vehicular movements, Alhaji Lateef also appealed to world through the Ibadan Urban Flood Management (IUFMP) to prioritize their request in order to restore normalcy their livelihoods.

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 till morning of the next day wreaked 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 Seyi Makinde, who they described as friend of the masses to come to their rescue as the river surge especially during raining season continues portends serious threat to their lives and homes.

Speaking on behalf of the state government, the team leader and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs. Modupe Adeleye, sympathised with the victims of the flood, stating that the government is aware of their plight and would take speedy actions to allay their fears.

She said: "It is really pathetic actually, it is sad what we are seeing here this morning. We came here as a team comprising the Ministries of Environment, Public Works, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), to see things for ourselves."

"There are palliatives that the government will put in place for now to allay the fears of the people. So, the team went round to look for alternative routes because this place (Olodo Bridge) needs to be shut down for now to prevent loss of lives and properties, because it is a very risky zone."

"The suggestion now is that we should shut down and look for alternative routes for people to do their businesses and so far, the best route that we found is about five (5) kilometers."

"It spans from Wofun Junction through Kute to Olodo Bank. That will be the alternative route where the government will take a palliative measure for now," she added.

Adeleye appealed to the residents to cooperate with the government, stating that the government will expedite action both on the ongoing construction works and the palliative on the alternative routes.

She added that the State Emergency Management Agency will soon embark on enumeration of houses wrecked by the flood.

Adeleye, who advised residents of the state to move away from flooded areas and stop building houses on setbacks and river banks, stressed that defiance to the warning poses dangers to their lives and properties.

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