Flood: Apprehensive residents seek FG’s intervention

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Nabilah AbdulGafar

Following the rehabilitation of the railway line, both new and old, the residents of Akinde street, Ishaga, Lagos, being apprehensive over their properties, have called on federal government to come to their aid.

The railway line which connects Lagos State with other states is said to have caused severe flooding during the last rainy season after it rehabilitation. Thus, causing residents to have abandoned their homes to have take shelter elsewhere.

As gathered from Punch Metro, while speaking with a member of Akinde street community development association, Mr Ahmed Folorunsho, the water which gathered at Akinde was from Ishaga, Gudungba, Crossing and Fagaba areas.

Folorunsho expressed that the problem started after the rehabilitation of the rail line, and that they had met with the contractors handling the project but were told to forward any complaint to the federal government.

He said: “In line with the objective of establishing an effective transport system in the country, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, began rehabilitating this rail line. We were glad that they would channel the water, which usually results in flooding, away from our area by expanding the canal. Unfortunately, they have allowed the canal to remain the way it is, and this, rather than address the problem of flooding in Akinde, has worsened it.

“Each time it rains, it is a serious problem for us. Vehicles, motorcycles and even human beings will not have access to this place. Many of the house owners usually relocate to other places to avoid disaster during the rainy season. Cars left on the streets are not exempted as the floodwaters usually destroy their electrical systems and cause damage to the engines.

“The flood, which came through the railway area, flows from Ishaga, Gudugba, Crossing and Fagba. The flood that gathers at a point here follows a narrow canal down under the railway line that leads to the other side of the rail line. By the time the water from the different sources gather, the canal cannot accommodate it, hence the flooding.’’

Speaking on this, Mr Yakub Mahood, the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Nigerian Railway Corporation, cautioned all communities that were affected to write a formal letter to the NRC for any complaint.

Mahood noted that it is not ideal for community leaders to channel their complaints to the media, non governmental organizations or to the contractors, if the corporation’s work was affecting them negatively.

“If any community has a complaint, the official way of going about it is to forward such a complaint in writing through the appropriate community leaders, who will write a formal letter to the Nigerian Railway Corporation. When they do this, the NRC will contact the contractors.

“The contractors that the community approached cannot do anything, because it is the client, which in this case is the NRC, vis-à-vis the Ministry of Transportation, that will direct the contractor to do any additional work, which is going to be an addendum.” he said.

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