BY OUR REPORTERS
LAGOS — Residents of Lagos State were, yesterday, enveloped by flood following heavy downpour that started Wednesday night.
A number of houses and roads were submerged by the flood caused by the rain that lasted several hours.
Sections of Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway were cut off on both sides by the flood, leading to a gridlock.Many road users were forced to return home or seek alternative routes, while others remained at the spot, waiting for the flood to abate.
A portion of Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road by Mobil Filling Station was submerged, as were some areas in Mafoluku, Oshodi.
Many residents could not make it to their offices and business places yesterday as most areas in the state were heavily flooded.
Vanguard learnt that in some areas, many property were swept away and some major roads in the state were blocked.
Some of the worst hit areas include: Popo Igunnu, Jimoh and Ago-Hausa Streets, all in Okokomaiko, Iba Local Council Development Area; Jakande in Oto-Awori Local Council Development Area; Sango, Igi avenue, GRA Ikeja, Gbolahan Bankole Street in Igando LCDA, Aboru; Ipaja-Ayobo, Shogunle, Apapa, among others.
Aiyepe Street in Itire, Canal Pepple Road, Shomolu, Agbado-Ijaiye, Ikola, Agbado-Okeodo LCDA, Akintan, Cele, Bakery Bus Stop, all in Ejigbo LCDA; Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation , NNPC at Ejigbo LCDA had its fence destroyed during the downpour.
Disaster on bridge linking Lagos and Ogun
The bridge linking Lagos and Ogun states at Ayobo, in Ayobo/Ipaja Local Council Development Area, was submerged.
Six adults and a child were reportedly carried away by the flood while they attempted to cross from Ogun to Lagos State.
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At Okokomaiko, over 500 pupils of Fazil Omar Ahmadiya public Nursery and Primary School 1, 11 and 111, were sent home by the Headmaster after the entire school premises was flooded.
A pupil of the school, Chukwuemeka Amadi said that one of the headmistresses of the three schools, Mrs. Asa sent them home because the entire premises including the classrooms had all been submerged in flood.
On Jimoh Street, the flood destroyed property of the residents leaving many to bail out water from their living rooms.
Mr. Sam Adebowale, a resident of the area, said that the water destroyed their property because their living rooms were submerged by the flood.
Adebowale lamented that the damage was due to the fact that the drainage canals servicing the area were not cleared by the state government before the commencement of the rain.
At Jakande in Okokomaiko, residents groaned as they were left stranded for hours because the commercial vehicles and Motor cycle operators popularly called Okada plying the routes refused to ply the flooded road.
One of the drivers, Mr. Fatai Olawale, said they could not ply the road because the over 10 kilometre road had been flooded.
Vanguard gathered that motorists who summoned the courage to convey passengers got stranded as their vehicles broke down on the road.
At the Aboru area of Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, not less than 50 houses were said to have been flooded.
At Alabede area, many residents managed to wade through the flood successfully as buses and motorcycles refused to convey them beyond that area.
At the time of this report, residents of Isheri-Olofin, Egbe-Idimu LCDA were still wallowing in the flood and calling for the state government’s attention.
The flooding of the area, which they said started since seven years ago, got worse recently with the diversion of a drainage channel to the area by the Chinese Construction Company, CCECC, during the construction of the LASU-Iba Road. They claimed that they had sent series of letters to the authorities over their plight to no avail.
The neighbouring communities in Ogun State were also affected. Some of the residents had their properties swept away.
Residents who lamented the situation said it took them hours to even leave their homes for work in the morning.
Monarch cries out
The Alado of Abule Ado in Oriade Local Council Development Area, yesterday, cried out over the inability of his people to either move out or return to their homes.
The Oba said: “This is to inform the state government that Abule Ado bridge has collapsed over night. We have been cut off completely.
Our students, market women, workers and others cannot go out or come in. An urgent intervention is needed.”
One confirmed dead as fence collapses in Bariga
One person was confirmed dead when the fence of a building at 34/40 Shogbamu Street collapsed on another building at 2 Community Street Ita–Baale, Bariga Lagos.
The unfortunate incident which occurred at about 1am during the heavy rain, killed a 22-year-old male whose name was given as Ahmed Shotuminu.
It was a pathetic sight at the scene of the incident when Vanguard visited as the people wore gloomy looks. The remains of the deceased, who was said to have recently graduated from a furniture making workshop was being prepared for burial.
A resident who gave his name as Seyi Odubanjo, narrated that the fence collapsed at about 1am when the rain was falling heavily, adding that the victim and his younger brother were in the house when suddenly the fence crashed into their apartment.
“The two of them stay in the boy’s quarter of the main building and were both fast asleep when the fence collapsed. But Ahmed was not as lucky as his brother who escaped with minor injury.
“The bricks fell on him and he died instantly, I was sleeping in my house which is opposite their apartment when a call came in that building has collapsed on them and I should come and assist. I quickly rushed to the scene but we could only see his leg while the rest of his body was covered in rubbles.”
Meantime, the Lagos State Government has again warned residents to be prepared for heavy rainfall accompanied with severe windstorm within the next two weeks, which has been envisaged to be the peak period of this year’s rainy season.
The alert was given by Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, while monitoring state of the environment during the rains in the state.
The commissioner urged residents living along low line areas of Eti-Osa, Badiya, Amukoko, Makoko, Iwaya, Ajegunle, Owode, Agiliti among others to vacate those areas during this period, and move upland as the intense rains would be accompanied with windstorm.
In case of emergency, residents were implored to take full advantage of Drainage Engineers and Drainage Maintenance officers posted to all the 57 local Government Council Areas of the state, and relate with them effectively to solve their drainage challenges.
Bello, explained that the officers are readily available to provide relief and solutions to all flooding challenges in each Local Government area of the state.
Lagos urges motorists to be cautious
The Lagos State Government has also appealed to all road users especially motorists to observe and obey road traffic signs and other traffic rules and regulations in the state.
Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa who gave the advice said that motorists needed to be more safety conscious, drive with care and ensure that their vehicles are road worthy before putting them on the road especially during the rainy season.
He urged them to ensure that their windscreen wipers were in proper working order and that their tyres were also in good condition before embarking on any journey.
Opeifa reaffirmed the commitment of the state government to safety of lives and property and implored all drivers to avail themselves the opportunity of attending any of the five driving institutes established by the government for re-certification and also to enhance professionalism.
The commissioner noted that officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would be on hand to assist motorists, while the personnel of Vehicle Inspection office (VIO) had been directed to intensify efforts and ensure non road worthy vehicles were not on the roads.
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