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Save Us From This Rot And Squalor •Oke-Ado, Ibadan Residents Cry To Oyo govt
Residents of Ahmadiyya area of Oke Ado, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, are in their worst state, owing to the rainy season which, instead of bringing blessing, is leaving their homesteads flooded and nearly submerged. ENVIRONMENT was there to see how the people are coping.
When a government is up and doing, demands for more good gestures from the people naturally increase. Only a working and listening government can be availed the hues and cries of a people who have been long abandoned to the quagmire of rot and despicable living.
This scenario partially represents the present situation of residents of Ahmadiyya area of Oke Ado, Ibadan, Oyo State. An unsuspecting user of Awolowo Way which links Oke Ado and Molete in Ibadan South West Local Government Area will be bewildered at the sight of the state of the environment and houses located right beside the expansive road constructed by the last administration in the state.
Sustained floodings of residential houses and subsequent desertation of the area have been the lot of the residents who are mostly low income earners and have no better accommodation alternative.
Any mortal, who beholds the near bestial and neglected life residents of the area are living, would surely pity them. The waterways have collapsed. When rains fall, heaps of refuse are forced down from UTC and Sharp Corner area of Oke Ado to Ahmadiyya area, flooding premises of houses located there, instead of locating Ogunpa river. It is believed that the blockage of a culvert around Ibadan Boys High School at Oke Bola, is responsible for the constant flooding of that portion of Obafemi Awolowo Road which usually overflows and floods homes and streets at Ahmadiyya area.
When Environment was conducted round the area last week by Mr Wilson Modede, a resident, the environmental situation is a mockery of life in a so-called city. Villages in riverine areas of the country are preferrable to what is obtainable at Ahmadiyya area.
“We’ve been suffering a lot right from 2007. Our first major problem here started when the present governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, was in All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Between January 2007 and 2008, we had electricity problem and there was nobody to run to for solution. We later went to the late Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu who asked us to go and meet Senator Abiola Ajimobi whom, he said, we voted for. He said we should go and complain to him. For four years, we were in darkness. But through sheer community effort, we were able to fix the light around March 2011,” Mr Modede stated.
According to him, one reason the area seems neglected is because landlords of houses in the area are not resident there, hence nobody to project their plights to the government. “This area has no landlords; so there is no landlord association. Only tenants are trying to see what they can do for themselves. Most of us pay our house rent through account numbers of our agents or landlords, who hardly come around,” he said.
The roads on the streets are riddled with gully erosion thereby making them unmotorable. Residents, who have cars, seek alternative places to park them. Seeking medical attention for their labouring pregnant women could be difficult especially at night. A female resident, who declined giving away her identity, bemoaned the situation saying: “To get our pregnant women to hospital via this bad road is herculian. It can be pretty difficult. We usually hold them while they trek to the main road before they are able to board a vehicle to any nearby hospital. It’s difficult driving a vehicle into the street,” she said.
Besides, sicknesses and diseases seem not far from inhabitants of the area. “Only God is taking control of our health problems here. Our children often fall sick.
When the rains come, we all run into our houses; those downstairs will run upstairs for fear of being submerged by the flood,” a female resident, who would not want to be identified, stated.
Environment was told that during downpour, shops and ground floors of storey buildings are always flooded to the extent that many tenants had to abandon their homes. The female resident, who owns a shop in the area, affirmed that “Water enters our houses and shops whenever it rains. I’ve lost bags of sachet water to kerosene contamination several times and we’ve experienced floodings here more than four times. If we are caught in the floods, we take to our heels, since our lives may be endangered. We want to beg the Oyo State government to help us arrest the trend, else this area will soon become absolutely uninhabitable,” she stated.
During Environment’s investigation, it was observed that one of the auditoriums of the Celestial Church of Christ, Redemption Parish, beside Ahmadiyya mosque and directly behind MRS filling station, has been flooded by the ravaging erosion from opposite the area and the place has consequently been deserted. Part of the fence of the church has caved in due to an artificial waterway created by the erosion from Ibadan Boys High School.
It is also believed that the volume of water marauding from UTC and Sharp Corner of Oke Ado during the rains has endangered most of the houses in the area, making them uninhabitable. In some of the two storey buildings, which ground floors have been abandoned, children were seen playing in their first floors. With time, most of the buildings will cave in if a drastic measure is not taken to arrest the situation.
The surburb also harbours another worship centre, Cherubim and Seraphin Church, right in the midst of rodents and reptiles-harbouring shrubs. A shanty-like structure, the church thrives amid swampy and unhealthy environment. Children were seen milling around the building.
A fallow ground behind the CCC church has been turned into a refuse dump. On a daily basis, heaps of household wastes are dumped on the site. But Mr Modede said this action was uncalled for since refuse trucks usually patrol the major road to collect refuse every week or as the case demands.
“Our refuse are usually taken to the major road for trucks to take away. They take it to the main road. We do not dump refuse on drainages except the ones that flow from the major road to our street,” he asserted.
Wells in the area have been badly polluted. Except for flushing toilets, the coloured water is good for no domestic essence. Most of the wells, which are deep and filled to the brim, are left uncovered while children play around the area. The well rings are not high as some compete with the ground level.
An artisan, Mr Wale Adewole, who has spent just about a year in the area, expressed concern for the danger posed by the wells. He warned against tragedy, if nothing is urgently done about them.
Responding to where residents of the surburb fetch drinking water, Mr Modede said: “We cannot drink water from our wells. We trek a distance to get borehole water to drink; I mean across the Awolowo Way. We go as far as NTC Road and Sharp Corner to buy borehole water for drinking. As a result of the flood, whenever it rains, the wells are usually flooded and eventually polluted and contaminated.”
Making a passionate appeal to concerned authorities, Mr Modede said: “Please, help us tell the governor that we have suffered for him a lot in this area. Even when he defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), we still followed him there. And we have not got any dividend of democracy up till now. We don’t know the councillor or legislator in representing this area. You can see the rot here. We have been forgotten. We cannot bring in our vehicles to our homes because the roads are impassable. In a major city like this, it’s too appalling. We are calling on Ajimobi to please come to our aid because we are really suffering.”
On security, there is no vigilance group in the area because the low-income-earner tenants cannot afford the luxury. “We have no vigilance group any longer. We used to have, but we could not sustain them, so we asked them to go,” Mr Modede said.Share