By Ahmed Ajikobi
No fewer than 300 residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital have been rendered homeless following torrential downpour last Tuesday that destroyed scores of buildings, National Pilot can report.
The victims cut across five communities such as Amilengbe, Isale -Koko, Duma, Olorunshogo and Adualere – all in Ilorin East Local Government Area of the state.
When our reporter visited the communities on Friday, it was discovered that aside residential buildings, the flood also affected churches and shops, damaging property worth millions of naira.
Also, some residents were noticed scooping water from affected buildings while others were sighted parking their belongings from their flooded buildings to that of their neighbours, perhaps to put up with them.
Speaking with our reporter, a community leader at Duma, Alh. Aremu Toyin said, “Since 2014, the flood has consistently destroyed our property. At a time, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki came, he sympathised with us and even gave us N500,000. He also promised to help us to complete the abandoned channelisation of water project.
“The five communities decided to keep the money given to us by the Senate President and also asked each building to pay the sum of N5,000 which brought the total to about N3.5million.
“The money was used to continue the abandoned channelisation project in order to control the water from Amilengbe Bridge,” he said adding that for about a year, the communities had no problem with flood until lately when the construction collapsed.
Speaking further he said in 2016, they met with the lawmaker representing Ilorin East/Ilorin South constituency at the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Abubakar Amuda-Kanike to rescue us and he promised that he will take the floor of the National Assembly to ensure it is included in the budget but there have been no response.
“We have been to the Ministry of Environment to lodge complaint since 2014 but they kept saying they have written to the Federal Ministry without response yet. They told us it is not state but federal project.”
Also speaking, another resident, Tunde Muhammed recollected how two lives were lost in July in the area to flood.
Meanwhile, a director at the Ministry of Works and Transport, Alh. Tunde Aremu who doubles as the Chairman of Adualere community said that the channelisation is of three phases; the first which is Unity to Amilengbe has been completed but the abandoned ones are Unity to Irewolede and Harmony Estate, Shao Garage.
“We met with the contractors when the flood is becoming out of control but they replied that, they were only paid for the first phase which they have completed.”
When contacted, the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Amos Sayo said the state government is doing its best to ameliorate the situation.
He however confirmed that a report has been sent to Federal Ministry of Environment as it is a federal project.
The Commissioner however urged residents of the communities to vacate their residents and move far away from the river banks pending the time the situation will be put under total control.
He added that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet) are presently in the state and will forward their four weeks findings on the flood to the Federal Government.”
Speaking in a telephone interview with our reporter last night, the Director of Projects, Mandate Constituency office, Engr. Yinka Otukoko said report has been sent to the Senate President on the project despite admitting it is a project of the Federal Ministry of Environment.
“I have also spoken to Hon Abubakar Amuda-Kanike’s Constituency Manager, Omolabi Saheed to convince his principal to rescue the situation pending the time the FG will find a lasting solution,” Otukoko submitted.