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Residents climb rooftops, erect makeshift bridges to escape menacing flood

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Residents climb rooftops, erect makeshift bridges to escape menacing flood

Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan

Residents of Ibadan, Oyo State, have taken to rooftops and other escape routes in order to stay safe from rampaging floods that have sacked certain parts of the city.

Houses, worship houses and vehicles were submerged after a downpour caused flooding in many parts of Ibadan, Oyo State, on Tuesday.

The rain began in some areas on Monday evening and continued until early morning of Tuesday.

In other parts of the city, the rain began in the middle of the night and ceased around 9am on Tuesday.

Most of the affected areas are located close to river banks.

They included Orogun, Akinyele, Onipepeye on Old Ife road, Dandaru junction on Mokola/UCH road and Olodo.

Our correspondent who visited some of the flooded areas observed that many residents were trapped in their homes because of the flooding.

While many of them erected makeshift elevated platforms in front of their homes, many residents took refuge on rooftops and higher floors of their houses.

In Orogun, a church building was submerged in the water and though the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps rescue team attempted to bring those trapped in the building to safety, they opted to wait on an elevated platform until the water subsides.

At Onipepeye area on Old Ife road, many houses were affected, while several cars swept away from where they were parked.

An unconfirmed report said a commercial motorcyclist was swept away early in the morning as he tried to ride across the flooding.

Some owners of affected houses blamed residents who dump refuse into the rivers and streams for teh floods.

They called on the Oyo State Government to enforce strict penalties on environmental offenders.

Victims also blamed the government for sacking private waste management companies without providing an alternative arrangement for proper waste management.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Adisa Isola, told our correspondent that government made enough efforts to avert the incident; and blamed those who built houses and shops on water channels without adhering to setback rule.

“It is not true that waste management failure was responsible for the flooding. As a matter of fact, more people are complying with environmental laws in the state now.

“We started preparing for this in December 2016 through a World Bank-assisted project.

“Fourteen rivers and streams were dredged and this year, we have dredged 36 streams and rivers.

“This cannot be repeated every year because it is just a palliative measure. That is why we are working on three master plans for Ibadan that will take care of this issue.

“The attitude of our people was responsible for this flooding. They have refused to obey the setback rules but instead, they built houses on river channels. It put pressure on the drainage systems.”

Public Relations Officer of the Oyo State Command of the NSCDC, Oluwole Olusegun, told our correspondent that a rescue team led by the state commandant, John Adewoye, rescued many people who were trapped in the flooding.

He said the incident was caused by some rivers that overflowed their boundaries.

 

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