Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Penultimate Wednesday’s downpour in Ilorin, Kwara State, has claimed the life of an undergraduate, Adeyemi Lateefah. A student of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, she was reportedly going to the Maraba motor park, a few meters from her Mubo residence, when she slipped into a flooded drainage and died.
The downpour caused heavy flooding of many areas owing to what residents called the poor construction of the Asa drainage. Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq commiserated with the family of the deceased and dispatched a team to look for her remains. He said the administration would ensure that proper steps were taken to avoid a re occurrence in the future.
He called on the Federal Government to order contractors handling the channelisation of the Asa River back to site, saying the drainage was poorly done and was too narrow to prevent flooding in the area:
“This (channelisation) was long awarded. They didn’t execute it properly.We have written them a letter that they should come and finish it. What they did is too narrow.”
He said that he had directed the ministries of works, ,transport and environment and forestry to immediately drain the flooded area, including a church where dozens of people were trapped following the downpour. He reiterated government’s appeal to people in flood-prone areas to evacuate such vicinities following national forecasts about flooding across the country.
Meanwhile, residents called on government to urgently remove buildings and other obstructions along waterways to avert disaster.
Some at the flooded Unity Bridge, AbdulWahab Folawiyo Road, Ilorin, expressed concern over the perennial flooding in the areas bordering Asa River. They blamed the development on the erection of buildings and shops along the waterways and other encroachments on the setbacks, blocking free flow of water.
A trader, Mr. Micheal Alfred, urged government to direct owners of the offending buildings to vacate immediately to safe lives and properties. He said flooding has hampered business activities in the area:
“We are always disturbed whenever it rains. We want government to do something urgent about it. For those who built on waterways, government should ask them to quit. They should vacate the buildings. Government must do something about it.”
Another resident of the area, David Ayotunde, said: “We want government to help us. Government should remove the buildings on the waterways to guarantee free flow of water.”
A shop owner, Mr Adeniyi Fabunmi, called for the dredging of Asa River to ensure free flow of water, attributing flooding in some parts of the state to the buildings on the waterways.