Landlords and residents have cried for help after floods forced them to abandon their homes and property in communities in the Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the communities include Oke-Aro, Matogbun, Olambe, Keredolu, Igbaotun, Araromi Oke-Odo and Adio-Alausa.
The victims, while lamenting over the development, said the rainy season had compounded their situation, adding that they had been facing hard times seeking temporary accommodation elsewhere.
Speaking with our correspondent who visited some parts of the affected communities on Monday, a representative of the communities, who is also the Chairman of the G-7 Environmental Committee, Kazeem Agunbiade, said people whose buildings were affected had been experiencing hardship coping with the situation in the community.
He said, “Floods are flowing into homes. The experience is discomforting for those who are affected. The roads are flooded a lot of the time during the rainy season. This will prevent many people from going out.
“There are some areas that are like valleys. So all the water will now deposit in that area. For five months, the water will remain stagnant. There are about three or four locations in some of these seven communities that we call waterbeds.
“In some of these areas, after the rain has gone, the landlords will deceive people and sell the buildings and leave the communities. In other places, some people just abandon their homes and disappear without looking back. Some other people moved to other communities.”
Agunbiade said floods had claimed the lives of no fewer than two persons, adding that poor drainage systems were responsible for the flood affecting the communities.
“About three years ago, a woman and her child were buried under one of the open channels. Her corpse and that of her child were found the second day. A man also slumped and died after the flood swept away his property. We have been abandoned by the government,” he added.
The Chairman of the Community Development Committee in charge of the communities, Baleng Bamidele, said the communities had petitioned the state Ministry of Environment, adding that officials of the ministry came to inspect the areas but did nothing afterwards.
Bamidele said, “We have written letters to the ministry and they came to inspect the areas. Since then, they never showed up. What we are suffering from is total neglect from the government.
“The communities have resorted to self-help. Everything we do here is based on communal effort right from the electricity pole to the construction and rehabilitation of drainages, among others.
“This is one of the reasons why there are many tolls in most of our communities which is not supposed to be so if the government had done the needful.”
Contacted for a reaction on Tuesday, the Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Environment, Rotimi Oduniyi, said, “Tell them to provide the letter that was written to the ministry and have it sent to me so that I can follow it and provide you with a proper reply.”