Ikorodu: Water, Water Everywhere!
By David Atilola and Adekunle Samuel
In Itowolo Area of Ikorodu, a suburb in Lagos Nigeria, flood is destroying properties in the community. The residents are complaining about how the challenge of flood is making life unbearable for them.
When we visited the community, at first the flood was not visible from a distance, but as we approached we realized we had to walk inside murky water to reach the latter part of the community.
“My Family and I have been in this community for over two years and this is how the community has been,” says Emmanuel Eze.
Many people have come here to tell us different things, that they would help us put an end to this, but everything has been lie, he said.
Ayuba Oladeji who grew up in the community. Ayuba says the youths have held several protests so that the Government can help them sand-fill the community, but their efforts yielded no result.
Like Eze, he has seen different politicians coming to campaign in the community. After winning elections, the politicians leave them without coming to fulfill their promises.
“As it is now, we have people in the house of representative, who came here to ask for votes, but they have forgotten about what they promised to do for us after they get elected,” he said.
But beyond the erosion, Ayuba says they have learn to gain.
“This problem of water it is even bringing some natural resources for us, at least some of us fish from the water we also gets other [natural resources] that can not come if not for the water,” he said.
Sunday Adebode, a student who is still seeking for admission into a Nigerian University, does not share in Ayuba’s optimism.
He says “there was a time I met all my books inside the water that entered inside our house, I could not sleep into my room because of the water.”
As we left Sunday’s apartment walking to the Baales house, a woman who seems to be frustrated with no hope of solving their problem exclaimed, “they can’t do anything, many People have been here, you can’t stop this water.”
Mr. Taiwo Omololu, a worker of the Lagos State Waste Management [LAWMA], clears the dirt on the sea, which is situated around the community. Omololu said his job is to make sure that the sea is dirt free.
“As you can see what we do is to clean the refuse on the sea, because of the goal of Lagos State to keep the environment clean” he says. “The solution to this water problem here is just filling, the road the Government are constructing. You see how it has been leveled up, if they can also fill this community it will stop.”
The community leaders are aware of the challenges the flood brings.
“This community has been in existence for over a thousand years, it has been long established for centuries before the existence of this Ikorodu,” says Alhaji Sikiru Aregbesola, the community leader.
Aregbesola was very straight in his response confirming the fact that he had met with different government officials, which had yielded no result.
He says, “we want the government to help us fill all corners and roads, if they help us fill these roads water will be history here and they should make covet.
“After filling, the water will go back to where it is coming from, it will not enter our community again.” he said.
Aregbesola also pointed out that even though the community is surrounded by water, they find it had to access clean water for every day use.
“We need original borehole for water, we had one earlier, but it was rubbish, the borehole is just useful for washing clothes alone, but correct water for drinking is what we need.”