Several communities in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos are witnessing flooding issues as a result of bad drainage systems and this has led to continuous (though preventable) loss of lives and property.
In most of these areas, communities are created on dirt and foundations are laid on waste and water, while people live in near collapsed buildings that pose a threat to them.
One of such communities is Alafia Street in Amukoko, a Lagos suburb where a major drainage canal has overflowed its bank. According to the residents, despite their profuse complaints to the Lagos State Government about the state of their community, nothing has been done to ease their anguish.
As a resulted, several houses in the community have been flooded by waste water with some residents abandoning their homes. According to findings, many houses in the area have collapsed in recent days while no less than four buildings have been abandoned by residents for the fear that it could collapse on them.
The situation has not been helped by merchants who we learnt are constructing new lock-up shops and homes on the drainage channel system on both sides of the road. Also, a market called Olaniyan is on the drainage line, thereby, stopping the flow of water into the canal.
"The local government officials have never done anything for this community, rather, they keep promising with nothing to show for it" some residents complained exasperatingly.
According to the Amukoko Community Development Association Chairman, Mr. Muyideen Sulaiman Adeyemi, for over 30 years the community had been like that and this led some landlords to abandon their buildings when the flood began to destroy properties and causing more damage.
He explained that “there is nothing we can do about those who build shops and houses on the drainage line, though we have tried as much as possible to dissuade them. We are calling on the relevant agencies to ensure compliance of environmental laws.
He noted that the bad drainage system has contaminated drinking water thereby increasing the prevalence of Malaria and other preventable diseases.
“The repair of the canal was awarded to Construction Company 10 years ago. At first, it was as though the company wanted to begin work, however it later it abandoned the project. As I speak with you now nothing has been done about it”. He said
“The worst is when it rains, the canal flows into the street. Besides, we get affected health wise, because we have to walk through dirty water flowing from the canal in addition to the bad drainage system” He explained.
Another resident in the neighborhood, Nurudeen Adesina, confirmed what the Chairman and the others said earlier.
“The former Councillor always made promises whenever he visited but did nothing until his successor came on seat. The new Councillor, Mr. Are Muyideen had also promised to do something about it,” Nurudeen said.
In the meantime, Mr Muyideen said the community would try to help itself, Mr. by desilting the drainage system so that water could flow into the other drainage
He however appealed to the State government to help the people of the community by putting in a place a proper drainage in Amukoko community.