We don’t have anywhere to go, we won’t relocate – Ogun flood plane residents

A recent flooding at Abeokuta

• A recent flooding at Abeokuta



 

Daud Olatunji

21 July 2021

Residents of some of the flood-prone areas in Abeokuta, Ogun State, have said they will not relocate until the state government provides alternatives for them.


The state government had given an order to residents of the affected areas to relocate to safer places as flash floods were imminent across the state.


The government listed the areas to include Gbangba, Ijaye, Ijeun-Tuntun, Isale-Oja, Kuto, Amolaso, Ijeja, Adedotun, Ago-Ika, Enugada, Totoro, Onikoko.


Others are Adigbe, Ofada, Magboro, Wawa, Arepo, in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area; Isheri, Akute, Alagbole in Ifo LGA; and Obantoko, Arakanga river, Ewekoro, Ado-Odo/Ota, Sagamu, Ijebu-East, Ogun Waterside and people living around the Owa River Course and Yemule River Course, in the Odeda LGA.


When PUNCH Metro visited some of the areas on Tuesday, residents expressed displeasure over the relocation order of the government.


A landlord, Wale Rabiu, said, “Where will I go? We do go out when the rain starts and return home when it stops.


“I live here with my wife; the flood does not affect our house despite staying directly beside the water channel because the government once assisted us in clearing the bridge and since then, the water has stopped entering my house.



 

“I am still staying in my house, where can I go? The government can do anything they like, but they should be ready to help us if they truly want us to relocate.”


Another resident, John David, lamented that people in the area were always troubled whenever there was a downpour.


David said, “I am still staying in this house because there is no money. If the government can assist us, we will leave here; we want the government to help us financially.


“Most of us do not have other options; what we do is that if the rain is heavy, we leave here until it stops.”


A resident, who refused to mention his name and claimed to have been living in his house for over 33 years, said government could not force him to relocate from his property.


He said, “The government said we should vacate from our houses, where did they expect us to go?


“I have been staying in this house for over 33 years. My house was destroyed by flood last year; the government promised to compensate us, only to give me Garri, a mat, and a 2.7-feet mattress.


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“As you see this house, 13 people are staying in it. When rain falls, it is God that protects us.


“We went to call them to help us clean the river. When they came, they said people were pouring dirt in the river; how much dirt do you see in the river? Water will not carry us!


“Since last year that they came here, none of them came back. The honourable in our area, Adeyemi, I have gone to his office more than four times. The director of environmental sanitation came to check this place; what is the excuse of government that we can’t see their impact?


“The flood that happened in 2018, what did the government do? They are just shouting that they will compensate us, what is the assistance of government? They are just shouting that rain will fall and we should relocate without doing anything to help us.”


On the rising water level, it was gathered that the Oyan Dam and Ogun River are still above average level.


A visit to the Ogun River in Lafenwa, Abeokuta, revealed that the water was rising at above average level.


The Oyan Dam, according to the management of the Ogun Osun River Basin Development Authority, is rising as the state records rainfalls.