THE seasonal disaster is here again. From the nation’s capital Abuja to Oyo, and from Kwara to Rivers and Edo states, floodwaters submerged homes and workplaces, and damaged bridges and culverts on Wednesday.
In Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, a middle-aged man was washed away at Oluyole, in Ibadan South West Local Government Area of the state.
In many parts of the city, scores of people were trapped when bridges and culverts became impassable due to the surging flood. Some people lost their belongings.
Other areas that were affected by the flood are Alaro, Zartech, Oluyole Extension, Idi-Ayunre, Olodo, New Garagge, parts of Gbekuba area, Apata, and Omi Adio, in Ido Local Government Area of the state.
At Alaro, Zartech area of Oluyole Extension, the only bridge that links the people to the city was completely submerged, while many residents were prevented from gaining access to their homes.
The victim of about six hours rain was said to have been washed away by the flood when he attempted to cross a submerged bridge in the Sumal area of Oluyole Industrial Extension.
People were seen around the area early yesterday still searching for the victim.
An eyewitness said efforts of rescuers were undermined by the heavy downpour, as sympathisers were prevented from searching for the victim due to the rising level of water.
The state government has sympathised with the victims of the flood, promising to do everything possible to mitigate such occurrence in the future.
The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola who spoke with The Nation yesterday on the flood disaster admitted that there were damages to bridges, culverts and roads on Wednesday, but said he was yet to receive any report of the missing person.
“The area you just mentioned, the Alaro area, Oluyole Extension area, yes, there were flashes of flood there and it also happened at Joyce B, at Olodo area of Egbeda, and at an area called Jenriyin, Kute community , in Lagelu Local Government Area. So, we have been there to make an on-the-spot assessment, and we have taken note of what is to be done to the hydrological infrastructure there in those places
“For example, culverts, bridges and water channels, we have taken note of what the government can do. And we have also appealed to our people that they should stop dropping refuse in waterways , we have also appealed to them not to wade through water floods and they should always evacuate anywhere when there is heavy rain and flood. The government is on top of the situation.
In Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, the rains started around 5pm lasting about four hours and claiming the life of one Lateefah Adeyemi.
Lateefah was reportedly going to the Maraba motor park when she slipped into the flooded drainage.
The rains resulted in heavy flooding in the metropolis affecting mostly Obbo and Mubo all in the town.
Houses and cars were in the process destroyed, it was gathered.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has commiserated with the family of the deceased, assuring them that a search team has been dispatched to look for her and that the administration would ensure that proper steps are taken to ward off such incident in the future.
Residents attributed the floods to poor construction of the Asa drainage.
The governor called on the Federal Government to order contractors handling the channelisation of the Asa River in the state back to site, saying the drainage was poorly done and is too narrow to prevent flooding in the areas and loss of human lives and properties.
AbdulRazaq said he had written to the Federal Government about the threats the poor job poses to the people of the state, especially residents of Ilorin.
“This (channelisation) was long awarded. They didn’t execute it properly. We have written them a letter that they should come and finish it. What they did is too narrow,” AbdulRazaq said during an on-the-spot assessment of the project at Mubo community of Ilorin.
He also reiterated government’s appeal for people in flood-prone areas to evacuate such vicinities following national forecasts about heavy flooding across the country, including Kwara State.
The governor’s appeal came on the heel of a statewide sensitisation by the administration on the need for people to leave the flashpoint already identified by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
Apart from the various sensitisation campaigns that began with a news briefing in August, officials from the ministry and the Government House have since Monday kickstarted a new sensitisation tour of various areas of the state where flooding is expected.
The nation’s capital had its share of the disaster. A number of places were flooded, the Court of Appeal premises severely affected.
In Edo State, the disaster was also felt in homes and public places, distrupting movement and business activities.
In Niger State, there was more havoc. No fewer than 2667 houses and a swathe of farmlands were destroyed across 17 council areas of the state.