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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Flooding: Kwara officials visit affected areas, one dead as Ondo sympathises with victims

The Deputy Governor of Kwara, Chief Kayode Alabi, has led the state government’s delegation to Odo-Ase community in Oke Ero Local Government Area over Friday night’s downpour that washed away the bridge linking it with other parts of the state.

AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to the Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Saturday, June 24, 2023, in Ilorin, the state capital.

According to the statement, the delegation also visited the Orisa bridge, where the embankment was washed away, amid ongoing construction of a new bridge at the same spot by the administration.

“The delegation visited the communities on Saturday to commiserate with the people as well as assess the requirements for reconstruction.

“The Governor sends his commiserations to the people of the communities.

“He reassures them that immediate steps will be taken to reconstruct the bridge as soon as possible to reconnect the people to their neighbouring communities,” said the governor.

He added that on the entourage included the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Alhaji Ishaq Olorukooba, and other officials from the ministry.

Meanwhile, a middle-aged man, simply identified as Glory, on Friday, lost his life at Bethel Estate, a community in Oba-Ile, Akure, Ondo State, as flood continued to ravage more communities in the state capital.

According to the landlord association, the man, who was said to be a Federal Government worker, was coming from work when he was swept away by flood on Friday.

The Assistant Secretary of Landlord Association of Bethel Estate, Oba-Ile, Pastor Gbenga Ojuloge, confirmed the incident on Sunday in Akure.

Ojuloge said that the community needed government’s intervention to help dredge the waterways to prevent future occurrence.

Several communities suffered from severe flooding on Saturday, as many access roads were cut off due to the rainfall that started on Friday and lasted more than 24 hours.

Ojuloge said that the waterway had turned into death trap, claiming lives every year.

He said that all the efforts made by the community to ensure that the flood was kept at bay every year had not yielded any result.

“We are using this opportunity to draw the attention of governments at all levels to what is going on in our community.

“This is the main access road to the community, but the flood is already taking what we have used our sweats to construct.

“Everything you can see on the bridge was done by the landlords in the community, but we discover that the flood will just come and push everything away. So, we are calling on government to come to our aid.

“On Friday, we lost a person here. This is because all the waters coming from Ijapo, Alagbaka and Oja-Oba are passing through here. So immediately it rains, there is no access to our community again,” he said.

Also speaking, one of the landlords, Mr Olusola Osupala, said once it rained, access to the estate was always cut off.

Osupala said that the community had written to several intervention agencies to help save the situation, but all to no avail.

Another landlady in the community, Mrs Oluwtosin Ibitoye, said that the death of the young man was painful, adding that she was part of the rescue party to save his life.

Ibitoye said once it rained, the road would be cut off, while residents would not be able to go in and out of the work again.

The Ondo State Acting Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has assured residents of proper clearing and expansion of all waterways and canals to reduce flood incidence in the state.

Aiyedatiwa, while sympathising with recent flood victims in the state, made the promise on Saturday during an on-the-spot assessment of the affected areas in Akure metropolis.

The acting governor also appealed to residents to desist from improper disposal of waste which often blocks water channels.

Some of the affected areas are Ala, Ayedun and Araromi in Akure South Local Government and Irese in Ifedore Council area.

Aiyedatiwa, who assured the victims of prompt intervention, said the state government had released counterpart funds to relevant agencies to clear and expand canals and waterways to prevent flood incidence in the future.

“We want to appeal to residents to desist from throwing waste into drainages. This act causes hindrance in water flow, thus makes it difficult.

“Please, you have to cooperate with the environmental officers and pay your dues promptly for them to come and pack your wastes.

“The government of Ondo state has released counterpart funds to relevant agencies to expand the waterways for easy flow of water.

“I want to assure you that there will be prompt intervention to clear the water channels for easy movement of water,” he said.

Also, member representing Akure South Constituency 1 in the state House of Assembly, Stephen Abitogun and the Chairman of Akure South Local Government, Gbenga Olaniyi, assured of quick intervention to avert flooding in future.

The Olurese of Irese, Oba Ahmed Saka and the Alaaye of Aaye community, Oba Peter Adeoye thanked the acting governor for the prompt response and look forward to government assistance soon.

By Bushrah Yusuf-Badmus and Segun Giwa

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