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Flood claims four-year-old boy, property in Lagos

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The heavens opened on Sunday night and let out a downpour that lasted nearly 12 hours. While many Lagos residents were savouring a sound sleep, residents of Aboru in Alimosho Local Government Area and Oko-Oba in Orile-Agege Local Council Development Area (LCDA) could not sleep all through the night. Many others woke up to count their loses caused by flood.

Residents of Azeez Olaosebikan, Ogundele, Oyatoki, Alaramimo, and Olasoji Streets in Oko Oba area all wore long faces as they stood nonplussed in front of their houses lamenting the havoc caused by the rain while some were seen moving their belongings away from harm’s way. Many fences were pulled down while the entire Aboru Road in Iyana-Ipaja was littered with mud and garbage washed to the area by the flood.

The community was thrown into mourning over a four-year-old boy washed away by the flood. It was a pensive search for the boy. The Councillor representing Orile-Agege Ward C, Ishola Ibrahim Obanla, also joined in the search party. The body was yet to be recovered as at press time yesterday. The residents vowed to continue their search until the body is retrieved.

It was gathered that the victim was playing in front of his house yesterday morning when one of his footwear mistakenly fell into a flooded drainage. In his bid to recover his footwear, he jumped into the gutter, wrongly judging its depth.

While the residents were still counting their loses, the chairman of Orile Agege LCDA, Johnson Sunday Babatunde, and his team visited some of the affected areas to check the level of damage. He also visited sites of ongoing evacuation of refuse and lamented the illegal dumping of refuse on roadsides and drainages across the council area, which he blamed for the flood in the community.

He further sent his condolence message to the family of the four-year-old boy that was lost to the flooding at Powerline, Oko-Oba, promising that measures would be taken to avert such incident in the future. The council boss advised parents to always keep an eye on their wards and also desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse at unauthorized places.

In Aboru, many of the residents linked the recurring flooding to the alleged abandoned bridge connecting Iyana-Ipaja to Aboru, saying the bridge was taking much water than it could. According to them, whenever it rains, not only in the area but also in other places like Abule-Egba and Abattior in Agege, the water being channeled to the bridge affect residents of the area.

An elderly landlord, Mr. Solomon Egbodhoroma, said the people in the area had been suffering because of the abandoned bridge. He alleged that what the government constructed was a culvert and not bridge.
He said: “I could not sleep since 2:00a.m. when the rain started because the water spilled over to the window level of my one-storey building and pulled down my fence.

“Our challenge in Aboru road here is the canal that the government refuses to do. What is here is better described as a culvert not a bridge. Every year, we suffer a lot and lose property. The flood has sent away people in my ground floor as you can see. I have been restricted to the upstairs and every year, my house is always affected.

A furniture maker, Mr. Gift Wejem, said the flood did not only carry away a set of furniture and wood that were kept outside the shop, but also damaged materials, machines and power plant kept in the shop.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) has given a seven-day ultimatum to owners of distressed buildings across the state to demolish them or bear the risk and cost of their demolition by the agency. LASBCA General Manager, Mr. Olalekan Shodeinde, gave the ultimatum yesterday.

Shodeinde said LASBCA had identified and marked some distressed buildings for demolition in some areas of the state. According to him, at the expiration of the ultimatum, LASBCA would demolish the buildings in accordance with the Lagos State Physical and Urban Planning Development Law, 2010.

Shodehinde warned that owners of such buildings would pay the demolition cost to the state government within 90 days, failure of which the government would confiscate the land.

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