Floods Torment Agbede Community
Whenever it rains, many Nigerians give thanks to God as they are excited by the showers of blessings, but the case is different in Agbede, via Agric bus stop in Ikorodu as the rainy season has become the harbinger of grief and hopelessness for residents of the remote community.
Located along Isawo road in Ikorodu, Agbede community is located in a valley which seems to have been abandoned.
Residents complained that the area is often water-logged because storm water from neighbouring villages —Ori Okuta, Igbo Olomu and LASPOTECH axis— empty into their community, flooding the valley and trapping the residents in their homes or outside, depending on the time it rains.
Speaking with one of the landlords in the area and a member of the Community Development Association of Agbede, Ademolu Kayode, said the government has not been fair to the residents of the community because the situation has been this way for about five or six years.
“It’s quite sad to see that our road is like this. We’ve been experiencing an annual carnival of flooding here for about five to six years and it is so bad that people have to leave their houses by 4am just to get to out early enough.”
“I had to take a video recording of this place to my office as evidence that my area has been flooded for the past few days, because not many people will believe that the situation is this bad.”
Mrs. Aregbe Oluwatoyin, an External Supervisor posted to a secondary school in Agbede to monitor the ongoing National Examination Council, NECO, examinations, regrets ever accepting to go there as the supervisor.
She said: “I could only cross to the other side yesterday with the help of a canoe and they charged N150. I had no choice because it was the only option at the time. I’m so disappointed that there is a part of Lagos State which is still experiencing such.”
Mrs. Y. O. Oguneye, a trader in the community blamed the state government for the annual flooding. She bemoaned the fact that since she moved to the area with her family over six years ago, the road had been bad but not as bad as what is being currently experienced. Oguneye stated that the state government had neglected residents of the area probably because the place is remote and not easily accessible.
“There is nothing like government here,” she said in Yoruba.
“I’ve been here with my family for well over six years and this road has been like this. People have been here before you to carry out interviews with the promise of coming up with a solution, but nothing has been done up till this very moment and it’s a testament to the fact that we’re being sidelined in this part of the state.”
“A solution must be worked out as soon as possible so that it doesn’t go beyond this, because it gets worse every year. Look at me, I’m a nursing mother, how do you expect me to cope with this dangerous way of crossing from one side of the road to another in a canoe?” she fumed.
There seems to be no end to the pains of residents of this community. A group of commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada, were also unhappy with the state of the road.
As far as Goodluck Ewurum, an advert agent, is concerned the elected leaders have failed the people and he believes that many of their policies are not people-oriented. “Just see what people are going through in this community, where we have to cross from one side of the road to another in a canoe; it’s quite disheartening,” he said.
Abdulkareem Kosemo believes that negligence on the part of government is responsible for the challenges which the people are facing presently.
According to the Islamic cleric, “I knew that the problem of this road would get to this level considering the way the rehabilitation has been handled. People have been making calls to radio stations, reminding government officials that Agbede road has been abandoned but nothing was done until the road became like this.”
“The road had been bad before now but this year’s rainfall has worsened matters. Now, we can’t move from one part of the road to another without the help of a canoe; a very short distance at that. What I believe strongly is that government is yet to know what’s happening here,” he added.
Speaking in the same vein, Pastor Tochukwu Fred who regrets ever moving to the area, still believes that government officials are not yet aware of their plight and will do nothing unless the complaints get to them.
“I only started living here recently and I must say that I’m not happy with what we’re experiencing here. If I had known, I wouldn’t have come here. I believe, though, that as soon as government officials get to hear our cries, something would be done.”
One of the residents expressed anger at the way the flood had crippled trading activities in the area. The violent-looking John Sesay, who almost beat up correspondent, said that he only needs action and not talk about the situation of things.
“The only way we can be happy is for the government to do something about the situation on ground. Our children haven’t gone to school for the past four days because we don’t really have a means of transporting them there unless through canoe which some of us cannot risk.”
“Work has even been grounded here because people cannot move around freely, market women now avoid this area to get to their market places. How can we be happy when our means of livelihood has beentaken from us?”
Ademolu Kayode said that the construction company expected to commence work in the region is just rounding off a project in Lekki and will soon embark on the rehabilitation of Agbede road.
“I can tell you from a reliable source that those who were supposed to work on this road are presently in Lekki and will come down here as soon as they finish their work there. But the question is that why would they do such a job at this time of the year? Will they be able to do the job without being disturbed by the rain?” he asked.