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Akure community taken over by flood

By Sunmola Olowookere

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The rains are here again, and many people welcome its arrival with happiness and relief that the onslaught of the relentless heat will abate as the rain increases.

However, the same sentiments cannot be said of some communities in the Oke-Ogba/Awule/Adebowale axis of the Akure metropolis as the residents viewed the advent of the rains with misgivings and fear due to the ravages of flood being witnessed in the area for some years now.

At the onset of this year’s rains, their misgivings were not misplaced as many appliances were spoiled and properties destroyed by the flood which ravaged the area, swept away several bridges and made an incursion into several houses.

Worst hit by the flood in the Oke-Ogba axis is the Idera community, other communities affected are Goshen, Bethel and Igbo-Ijaro.

Speaking on behalf of the community, Mr. Tope Toromade Adekanye said that the flood sweeps through the Idera Community and its environs when the river that divided Oke Ogba and Awule overflows its  bank during heavy rainfall.

“Many people have deserted their homes as the river flooded their homes and destroyed property worth millions of naira. In idera community alone, almost twenty houses have been deserted by the occupants as the flood washed away bridges and boulders”.

He disclosed that as people deserted their houses due to the flood, burglars had taken advantage of the situation and had begun to steal windows, burglary proofs, and wiring materials of abandoned houses.

He explained that the community had made efforts in the past to attract the state’s government attention to the area but the excavator could not be brought to the area due to bad roads.

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He said that the community had also embarked upon several self-help communal efforts but lamented that they all seemed ineffectual against the ravages of the flood.

He explained that they had tried to dredge the river manually by engaging manual dredgers and about 100 prisoners from Olokuta prisons at different times to work in the river all to no avail.

He said that during heavy rains, the flood could be up to their thighs and it was often dangerous to wade through it.

He stated that many times when it rained, they would set a patrol at the edge of the flood and wave to people’s motorcycles not to attempt passing through to avert them being swept away by the flood.

Also speaking, one of the landlords, Mr. Owoeye Joshua explained that the river became expanded when the number of houses in the area started increasing and lamented that many structures and fences had been pulled down by the ravages of the flood.

He added that the situation became so grave because the river had never been dredged and the road being constructed at Oke Ogba had diverted the water from the river down to the affected communities.

Adding his voice, another landlord from Goshen community, Mr. Idowu Adewale stated that only the amphibian excavator could do the work perfectly while assuring that the road network that the excavator would pass through was now in place.

He expressed fear that if the situation is not addressed with the urgency it deserves, many houses would go for it.

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The community is therefore calling on the Ondo state government through the Ministry of Environment to come to its aid by bringing their equipment to dredge the river.

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