Floods triggered by torrential rains have displaced scores of people across Nigeria, leaving them in dire conditions. The floods have also wreaked havoc in parts of Lagos, Delta and Anambra states, robbing many of their valuables, leading to loss of life and disrupting academic activities.
Tragedy in Lagos
In Lagos, a heavy flood swept away a commercial motorcycle at Papa Ashafa in Orile Agege area on Saturday. The Zonal Coordinator, South West, National Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinlonye, confirmed the incident, saying: “One motorcycle rider simply called Abe has swept away after refusing to heed to warnings from his colleagues not to ride along the Ile Epo Busstop canals in Alimoso Local Government Area of Lagos State.”
Postponement of Palliative Works
The Lagos State government also announced the indefinite postponement of palliative works scheduled to begin on the failed sections of the Third Mainland Bridge on Sunday. The delay, it was gathered, became necessary due to the downpours experienced in all parts of the metropolis on Saturday.
Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Oluwaseun Osiyemi, in a statement, explained that the downpour affected the preliminaries of the planned palliative works on the asphalt pavement of the bridge by the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, LPWC.
“A later date, which will be subject to weather conditions, will be duly communicated for the palliative,” the statement read.
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Displaced Residents in Delta
According to reports, Delta State, floods in the Ndokwa East Local Government Area displaced residents from their homes. The flood, it was gathered, resulted from days of unabated movement of volume of water from the River Niger into the community as the river overflowed its banks.
Worse hit is the Aika Ezeolu quarter of the community, where water is said to have levelled with the River Niger. Sources said most residents have moved out of the community to higher grounds while others have not.
Reacting to the development on Saturday, Secretary of the Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Mr. Felix Edemanya said: “We have already told and alerted the people to take precautionary measures so that the flood will not cut them off.
“They should safeguard their valuables and move out. Now that it has happened, they should move to a safer haven because the council will not want to lose anybody due to negligence.”
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Floods Disrupt Academic Activities in Anambra
Meanwhile, in Anambra State, students of the Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha, protested the disruption of academic activities on campus by flood.
The students, who demonstrated in large numbers last Thursday, said floods had taken over the institution and paralysed academic and non-academic activities.
The President of the Student Union Government of the institution, Chigozie Onyenyili, who spoke to journalists, expressed dissatisfaction over the current situation faced by students, highlighting that they had been forced to stay awake every night due to flooded hostels and the subsequent destruction of their belongings.
He said: “Flooding has been an issue in the institution, but it was worsened because the government recently commenced flood control process by removing an existing drainage inside the school, but they didn’t put the necessary measures in place to mitigate flood.
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“They commenced flood control during the rainy season, but now, they have abandoned the work and as we speak, the whole institution is flooded.
“Student’s properties are being destroyed, our beds, mattresses, learning materials, laptops, pots of soups have been washed away.”
According to reports, the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Owoh Ugochukwu, blamed the Anambra State government for the development.
He said: “The flood issue has lingered for some years, but the school authorities are doing their best. The flood results from the state government channelling waters that come from Obosi, Nkpor, Onitsha-Owerri Road and environs down to the school.
“But before then, we had a smaller drainage which was carrying little water; we made a case to the state government and other relevant agencies, but the state government came and excavated the existing drainage in the name of expansion, but the work has been abandoned, and there are no alternative measures put in place.”
The floods in Nigeria are a reminder of the country’s vulnerability to climate change. The government must take urgent action to address the issue and build resilience