From Jimoh Ahmed, Owo
Hundreds of residents in Ondo State have now been rendered homeless following a midnight rain storms on Monday.
In Owo, no fewer than 500 houses and property worth millions of naira were destroyed by the rainstorm in the ancient town.
In Akure, Ondo State capital, part of a prominent Hotel and a Church, along Ondo road were badly damaged by the rainstorm.
Investigations by our reporters showed that more than 1000 people were also rendered homeless in the process.
The rainstorm which accompanied 15 minutes rainfall left a devastating effect as trees were uprooted, blocking major roads, electricity poles pulled down, while rooftops were blown off.
Perimeter fencing of some houses were also pulled down by the wind though, no casualty was recorded.
Mostly affected are, churches, schools, residential buildings, shops and the Customary Court, Idashen, Owo.
The rainstorm wrecked havoc mainly in Ehinogbe, Idashen, Ilale Cashew, OlaOluwa and Achievers University areas of the town.
The incident occured after the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) had advised that there would be rainfall accompanied by heavy winds and rainstorm.
Some of the victims stated that the rain, which started with heavy wind blew rooftops and demolished everything in its path in the community.
One of the victims, Bosede Olabode lamented that the rain damaged her property and appealed to the State Government for immediate assistance.
She said: “My shop and commodities were destroyed by the rain. Even though the rain lasted for just 15 minutes, the wind was too much for us to rescue anything. The rain destroyed more than 800 homes. We are pleading with the Governor and other philanthropists to help us.”
Another victim also recounted his ordeal “I was called by other residents that my father’s house had been destroyed by the rain. It is painful because it blew off the rooftops and the most annoying thing is that building materials are now expensive. I will appreciate if the government can assist us too.”
Mrs. Cathe Ashamu of number 52 Muritala Street, while recounting her ordeal said, ” We have been facing a difficult situation since the roof of this house was blown off. I and my family have nowhere to sleep. I slept in a different place while my children also slept in places I don’t know. They have since been squatting with friends.
“Apart from the roof, we also lost property, including electronic items worth several thousands of naira in the process. You could see that we are still scooping rain water from the rooms.
“It may be impossible for us to put the roof back because of the soaring prices of building and roofing materials this period. It has been a terrible experience trying to feed ourselves not to talk of buying roofing materials.
” I am using this medium to appeal to the government, especially our ‘talk and do’ Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to please come to our aid”.
On her part, Rebecca Ojo, a single mother of three who is also a wine and herbal products seller disclosed that it was God that saved her and her children from being killed by the rainstorm.
“It was God that saved me and my children from being killed by the blown roof of the building that houses my shop”.
“All I have have been destroyed and I have no hope of feeding and taking care of my children again. I depend on this little trade to survive. I am appealing to the government and good Samaritans to come to my aid. It was difficult for me to raise the little capital that I used to start the business. Wines and herbal products worth over N150, 000.00 perished with the rainstorm. I need help “
Also narrating her ordeal, Mrs Funke Olabode, the proprietor of Great Future Nursery and Primary School, Idashen, Owo, said the occurrence has completely demoralised her.
According to her, this is the second time in a year it will happen to her school.
“I am completely demoralised. In March this year, rainstorm blew off the roof of my school and I had to rally round to source for N250,000.00 to fix it. It had happened the second time again and I don’t know where to get the money to fix it back.
“The financial position of the school is not sound since most of our students are not paying and I cannot drive the children away just because their parents cannot pay.
“I am a widow who depends solely on this school to train my children and even some less privileged people around me.
“The government should please come to our aid because the price of planks, nails and roofing sheets is out of the reach of people like us”.