The sound of rain for members of Itoki community in Ifo local council of Ogun State is bad news no matter the time of the day it pours. It not only floods the barely passable roads that is scattered in the community, it sacks many of the residents from their homes.
To make matters worse, the flooding keeps claiming lives of residents, particularly toddlers, every year. Two people have reportedly died this year since as a result of flood when their houses were submerged.
They have, therefore, made a passionate appeal to the Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, to rescue them from the persistent tragedy occurring in Itoki and environs.
According to the chairman of Itoki Central Community Development Area (CDA), Mr. Moshood Adesina, whose house was also submerged in the flood, it is a sad tale of neglect by the government.
“We are like orphans, who have been abandoned as part of Ogun State, but they remember us when they want to collect tax and tenement rate. The painful reality is that Ogun State gets its largest vote at every election from Ifo local council.
“The flood that is ravaging our community emanates from Ijoko, Ilemode and Gasland. Once it rains there, the flood flows here and the problem gets compounded whenever there is a drop of water (rain) in our own community. The portion of the road in front of St. John’s African Church Primary School, Itoki, becomes impassable whenever it rains, with road users making tortuous journey through the few passable alternative routes.
“This is why we are begging Governor Ibikunle Amosun to hear our cry and save the lives of our children that are daily living in danger in this area. Some people who have just finished their beautiful mansions have abandoned it to live elsewhere. We have tried our possible best to fix the problem on our own to no avail. We recently raised over a million Naira to construct drainage in the area, but it has helped little,” he lamented.
It is the same tales of agony for other residents who spoke to The Guardian. Peter Awotunde said he waded through the flood the previous day to enter his house. “My car is with the mechanic right now and I need to spend about N80,000 to put it back on the road because of the damage caused by the flood,” he said.
Mrs. Elizabeth Clement, who stood in front of their abandoned home, said: “Our house is submerged in water. We have distributed our children to different families. We deserted the house in May and we do not know when we are coming back as the entire area is filled with water.”