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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Rainfall: Lagos Residents Lament Flooding, Rising Transport Fare

Lagos residents have lamented the effects of the continuous rainfall in different parts of the state, which led to flooding and a hike in transport fares.

The rain, which fell for days, resulted in gridlock as commuters paid twice in fares.

A motorist, Adeolu Omolola, on Saturday, stated that the heavy rainfall supported by fuel scarcity and the Salah festivities, caused the sudden increment in transport fares.

Omolola said, “Any commercial driver you see on the road during this season is really trying because of the flood. We find it difficult to pass through some roads due to potholes covered by the flood.

“Unavailability of fuel also contributed to the high fares, as drivers made efforts to go to every nook and cranny of Lagos to get petrol for N200 and sometimes N250.”

A resident of Akowonjo, Omor Jacobs, said the state government failed in preparing for the rains.

Jacobs said, “It is wrong for residents in the city to experience flood as a result of blocked drainage and gutters. This has degenerated and led to chaos everywhere in the state.

“The government is supposed to use our tax to plan for the rainy season. Flooding should be a thing of the past.”

PUNCH Metro gathered that commuting from Ijaiye to Agege bus stop, which cost N200, was increased to between N500 and N600.

Those transiting to Oshodi from Ijaiye paid about N1,500, instead of the usual N500.

A passenger stranded in Abule-Egba, Agege, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the heavy rainfall made her spend hours in traffic.

She said, “I have spent over four hours in the traffic. I was drenched by the rain.

“Vehicles had to take alternative routes as bad traffic lights, road construction, broken down trucks also contributed to the traffic.”

PUNCH Metro observed that the downpour damaged some parts of the Agege Market, as wooden tables and chairs of some traders were destroyed.

It was also observed that the wooden pedestrian bridge for crossing to the other side of the flyover was destroyed by the flood.

Residents were assisted by two men identified simply as Emeka and Chidi.

In the Lekki area of Lagos, the roads were flooded, with vehicles overwhelmed by water.

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Residents were seen in several photos and videos on social media wading through the flood.

A video seen by our correspondents also showed some people swimming in flood water in the community.

A TV reality show star, Tacha Akide, while lamenting the situation, called on influential residents to reach out to the state government for a solution to the perennial problem.

The Lagos State Emergency Agency, in a statement said following the downpour on Saturday, an elderly woman suffering from a stroke was trapped in a building in the Ipaja area of the state.

The Permanent Secretary of LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said the agency responded to a distress call concerning the incident.

Oke-Osanyintolu said, “A search and rescue operation by the agency’s response team confirmed the victim to be alive although suffering from a stroke.

“The woman has been extricated from the building and the pre-hospital care unit of the agency is administering first aid to the victim before she is transported to the hospital.

“We have been responding to distress calls throughout Lagos with reports on flooding and flood damage in affected areas and reassure the good people of Lagos that we are on standby via our emergency lines 112/767 and 0806 090 7333.

“We urge Lagosians to avoid non-essential travel in areas that are most affected by flooding. Parents and guardians are to keep their children and wards warm and dry to avoid secondary illnesses.

“We appeal to community leaders to use the public holidays to carry out some remedial clearing of blocked drainage which will allow for free flow of stormwater and reduce the impact.”

The Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State, Ibrahim Farinloye, said two persons were feared dead in the Orile-Agege flooding.

Farinloye said, “Two vehicles, a Lexus and a Toyota, containing three persons each, were involved in the flooding. The residents reportedly warned the occupants of the vehicles to desist from passing through the said road but they were adamant, drove through, and were eventually swept away by the flood.

“One of the occupants of the vehicle swam out of the flood, while two others were helped by residents.  Although three instead of four were found, two others are still missing.”


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