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Rain exposes Lagos’ underbelly…

Residents wading through flood in Igando, Lagos

Downpour wreaks havoc in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, others
A furious downpour welcomed Lagos residents from the weekend and Eid-el-Kabir holidays, as work resumed across the country yesterday.

The rainfall was reminiscent of the 13-hour non-stop downpour that locked down Lagos two weeks ago.

Beginning some minutes before 10: 00a.m. with a light drizzle, it gradually gained intensity, pounding all parts of the state for almost all of eight hours.

Homes and roads were flooded. From Ilasamaja to Ojuelegba, Mushin, Agege Motor Road, Iyana-Ipaja and Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, the roads were flooded.

Many residents of elite areas in Victoria Island, Lekki and Ajah were forced to scoop water out of their homes.
The rain also left many commuters stranded due to the heavy traffic caused by the flood.

Many vehicles were stalled on the roads as the flood compounded the state of some roads.
The Lagos-Abeokuta expressway was the worst hit, as several failed portions between Ile-Epo and Abule Egba bus-stops left road users stranded.

However, in a statement, the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, urged the people to remain calm, saying that necessary steps had been taken to avert any disaster.

He said the government had in recent times carried out extensive tour of some flood-prone communities in the state to clear blocked drainages and canals.

The commissioner who wondered why any right-thinking person would dump refuse into watercourses and drainages created for free flow of storm water, said the numerous campaigns against such practice was in the interest of the residents.

“Canal is a storm water channel for the conveyance of storm runoffs, they are God’s natural protection for holding water during massive flood and it is not a place for anybody to build a house or dump refuse. Those in the habit of doing such must stop henceforth,” Adejare said.

He warned that the government would no longer tolerate the building of illegal structures along channel rights- of-way in the state.

He further urged residents living on wetlands and flood-prone areas to be cautious asking them to limit their movement if possible and to move to higher ground if need be.

Other parts of the country also witnessed heavy downpour in the last few days.

Seven nursing mothers and their new babies narrowly escaped death as flood ravaged the maternity ward of a hospital in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Tuesday.

The victims were admitted at Christ Apostolic Church Maternity Home, Isale-Ake. They were asleep when a torrential rain started on Monday evening and led to a flood, which forced its way into the ward.

A witness said by the time patients and medical staff realised the emergency, the flood had risen to bed- level, causing confusion in the ward.

The matron of the home, Abigail Asiwaju, said the patients were asleep and the nursing staff did not notice the surge of water until it was beyond control. She said the patients were hurriedly evacuated.

“We were inside the ward as the rain was falling, but before we knew it, the flood had taken over the ward and labour room,” Asiwaju narrated.

The matron attributed the flood to a nearby uncompleted road along Isale-Ake, which has no channel for flood.

Also on Tuesday, an unidentified driver lost his life while several property got submerged in flood as a heavy downpour left bitter tales for many residents of Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

The Muslim festival was going well with residents already looking forward to returning to their businesses when the holiday suddenly turned sour.

At Oke-Onitea area, residents gathered in their numbers looking at a canal in search of a middle-aged man said to be the driver of a Nissan Primera with registration number – Lagos LSD 683 DZ.

Some residents in areas like Testing Ground, Rasco, Oke-Onitea, Fiwasaye, Gbomi and Iludun in Osogbo have been counting their losses as the rain came down heavily for three hours, causing flood in many parts of the city.

At the weekend, no fewer than 30 buildings located in the densely populated Works Layout in Amakohia area of Owerri, were submerged by flood following a downpour on Saturday evening.

Clothes, cooking pots, plates, bags, books, and tricycles were seen floating on the flood.

Although no building collapsed, the flooding pulled down the fence of some buildings.

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