Flood victims count losses
From BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE, Akure
Residents of Ondo, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State have continued to count their losses over the recent flood that wrecked havoc in the town, with many people appealing to the National Emergency Maintenance Agency (NEMA) and the state government for assistance.
Many of the victims of the disaster are currently homeless. The affected parts of the town included Valentino, Ife Road, Saka Famuditi, Funmbi-Fagun, Lipakala and Oke-Odunwo, with items of worth millions of naira were destroyed.
The flood, caused by a downpour, which lasted for two days also left some residents of the area injured, as no fewer than six persons reportedly sustained injuries. Also, no fewer than 20 houses, just as vehicles and motorcycles were destroyed.
Some residents of the affected areas identified poor channelization and lack of proper layout as the major cause of the flood, which they said has become a yearly occurrence.
One of the victims, Mrs. Caroline Adeboye lamented: “I was in shop when I got the sad news I went home inside the rain, only to discover that I could not enter the house, because it was submerged by water.
“I lost everything I had in the house including my
children and husband’s properties. We are five in the house and every one of us lost all our belongings. It was the cloth I am wearing that remains for me and I don’t know where to turn to for assistance.”
Another victim, Mr. Seun Babalola, said members of his family had relocated to a friend’s house, stressing that his family has been living on the mercy of relatives and friends:
“We lost all that we labored for. As a matter of fact, the two motorcycles I have which I use as means of daily income were destroyed. All our clothes and other personal effects were destroyed and life has since become miserable for us.”
Babalola who disclosed that he moved into the house a year ago, called on the government at all levels and well meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of his family.
An affected widow, Mrs. Ikuemonise explained: “I was inside my room when the rain started. I did not have the premonition that the rain would cause the flood that it eventually caused. I got to know of the incident when I started seeing water inside the room and before I knew it water had taken over the entire building.
“It took the intervention of my neighbours for me to escape death as I was the only one inside the house when the flood occurred. Water submerged the house and there was no way for me to escape, but God eventually sent some people to me who carried me out of the house.”
She said all her belongings were lost to the flood and the house was partly affected, adding that she now lives with her son as the house is no longer habitable due to havoc done by the flood.
Officials of Ondo West LG and those of the Ministry of Environment visited the affected areas with a view to determining the extent of damage and ways of assistance. One of the officials, Mr Soji Olawale said the council would present the report of the incident to the state government for necessary assistance.
He said the local government and the Ministry of Environment would fashion out immediate way of relocating the affected people.
He said relief materials would be provided for the victims, even as he warned residents against indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the streets and streams, saying such act was responsible for the flood.