Indigenes of Ilaje local government area of Ondo State are now sending save our souls(SOS)to government at all levels and oil companies to come to their aids following a tidewater which had destroyed their over 200 houses and other property worth millions of naira.
Dailypost correspondent, ABIODUN BADEJO visited the riverine community. He observed that residents of Igbokoda, headquarters of Ilaje local government area of Ondo State are currently battling with the natural disaster as it has rendered over 1000 people homeless following a tidewater from Oluwa and Ofala Rivers which surrounded the riverine community.
Report says the water has submerged houses of both the poor and rich, including the palace of the community monarch, Olu of Igbokoda, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo, and that of the serving State Commissioner of Environment, Chief Sola Ebiseni.
Others are the Caretaker Chairman of Ilaje local government, Hon, Soji
Ayenuro, Chief Olusola Oke mother’s house. Houses of former NDDC Commissioner,Dr, Ibukun Omotehinse and Hon, Tunde Ayemo.
Already, Ilaje people, who are aquatic in nature, have adapted to the disaster as some of them now peddle canoes to their various homes.
Children were seen swimming inside the water to their homes when they are sent an errand.
Our reporter observed that those who could not withstand the disaster have decided to relocate to neighbouring communities.
The water Spillage has been described by residents as recurrent disaster that happens every 10 to 15 years in the community.
But, this year’s tidewater has been described the worst since the existence of the community.
According to the Council Chairman, Ayenuro and the Commissioner for
Enviroment, Ebiseni, they have provided accommodation at Holy Trinity secondary school and Igbokoda High school for those whose homes have been submerged in water.
Ebiseni, who spoke with DailyPost on Phone, said the disaster was caused by climate change that normally occur in the community.
He noted that Igbokoda was a confluence between Oluwa and Ofala Rivers,describing the situation as unfortunate.
He added that his ministry and the council have immediately responded to the disaster by providing accommodation for the victims at Holy Trinity Secondary School and Igbokoda High School.
Ayenuro, said the community has been taken over by flood due to the fact that all the water channels have been blocked, adding that with the assistance of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, all that could change.
The Council Boss lamented about the attitude of his people who normally pour dirts and sand into the gutters, thereby preventing free flow of water.
Ayenuro insisted that the natural disaster must not be linked to
government neglect of the community, stressing that Mimiko’s administration has impacted a lot on riverine areas.
He affirmed that there was no irrigation in the age-long road of Igbokoda which he said could have helped in diverting the water from entering various homes.
“As you know, Igbokoda is a metropolitan area in Ilaje local government. More than 80 percent of the habitants of this local government have been affected by the flood.
“The Olugbo of Ugbo land, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan was here few hours ago to sympathize with me but the reason why I am happy is that when we were appointed, Mr. Governor told us to reside with our people so that the caring heart programme could be extended to the grassroot.
“Having been a partaker of this disaster now, I am always happy anytime they call on me that Chairman come and check at my own building, I will also tell them to come to my own house and see what the water has destroyed in my place. This is telling you that our government is above all this capitalist agenda.
“For the past two days now, I have been trying my best to make relief
materials available for those who have no place to stay. I have created a particular building for them in the council so that they will continue to manage the place. I have seen a man who has seven family members now managing a kiosk.
This is really unfortunate.
“We are calling on government at Federal and State levels, Oil Companies, NDDC and OSOPADEC to come to our aid, and bring us out of this mess. My people
are suffering and we are appealing that these people should quickly intervene
and save us” Ayenuro said.