Floods hit many Nigerian cities after long hours of rainfall at the weekend. There were deaths. Homes were flooded.
Eleven people died in Suleja and other towns in Niger State. Many parts of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, were flooded.
Residents of highbrow Victoria Island, Lekki and Ajah in Lagos were yesterday waiting for the floods to recede. They were warned to vacate the flood-prone area because of the expected intense rains.
Many parts of Lagos Island have been thrown into darkness because the floods soaked power facilities.
Niger State was worst hit by the floods after five hours of rainfall. Nine people died in Checheniya and one in Kuala, Suleja. Another person died in Ayin-Nassarrawa in Tara Local Government Area of Niger State.
Houses were submerged. Properties worth several millions of naira were destroyed in Kaltuma and Angwan Hearing in Suleja.
Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) Director-General Ibrahim Ahmed said two bodies were found, adding that search and rescue operation officials were at the site to recover the remaining bodies.
He said the identities of the victims were yet to be ascertained, but confirmed that 11 people had been declared dead between Saturday night and yesterday.
Ahmed said: “As I am talking to you now, the search and rescue operation is going on and so far, two bodies have been recovered. Initially, we thought eight people were lost in Suleja but we received a report from the team that the number had increased to ten. We have one in Tara.”
But the worst-hit areas include Kaduna Road through Bakin-Iku, Chanchania and Yaro College, Kantoma, Kuspa, Angwa Gwari, and Angwa Juma.
Some buildings collapsed during the downpour, resulting in the death of some of the residents. Many were injured.
Some residents, who tried to leave their submerged homes for safety, were swept away by the floods.
Cars parked on the water ways were moved from their original positions.
A resident of Bakin-Iku, Sani Gamko, said: “Many houses were affected by the flood. Some completely collapsed while only parts of some buildings collapsed.
“I know of nine persons who were carried away by the flood and likely dead in Bakin-Iku community alone.
“The local government chairman and some NEMA officials have already visited the community ,” he added
At the General Hospital in Suleja, an official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that nobody was brought to the hospital as a result of the rainfall.
There were only two injured patients, she said.
According to her, one of them is at the emergency ward.
A Search and Rescue Officer of NEMA, Egrigba Micheal, told newsmen that the agency rescued a victim who has been rushed to the Suleja General Hospital.
He said: “We got a call from our zonal coordinator, Mohammed Idris, that there was a flood in Suleja. So we quickly moved to Suleja. We have seen a lot of devastation the rain has caused. Many of the houses were submerged while some were completely rooted out. Many properties worth millions of naira were also destroyed.
“There was one house that had eight people dead, although we didn’t see their bodies.
“In a family of eight, only one person was rescued. But the other seven are still missing.
“We will go back to write our report and submit to our boss. Certainly, tomorrow they will come back and do another assessment before there can be any relief. The rain was really devastating.” he said
Chairman of Suleja Local Government Area Abdullahi Maje said 10 persons had been declared missing.
He said: “The flood started around 12 midnight till this morning and affected more than 100 houses around Suleja Local Government Area, apart from Tafa local Government Area.
“There are about 10 missing persons within Suleja that the flood took away. Three bodies have been found; we are still searching for the remaining persons dead or alive.
“We have made a call to the Federal Government through NEMA. They responded quickly and came to Suleja and also the state management agency came in from Minna this morning.” he said
Stressing that the rainf was an act of God, Maje promised that everything will be done to forestall damage to lives and properties
Officials of the Eko Distribution Company (EKEDC) were battling to access their flood equipment to prevent an accident after the flood plunged Lagos Island – Nigeria’s financial and business honeypot, whis is also the home of the rich and powerful – into darkness.
General Manager, Corporate Communications, EKEDC Godwin Idemudia said in Lagos that the company was having challenges in almost all its injection substations as a result of the flood. According to Idemudia, some of EKEDC transformers have been submerged.
He said the management had directed that transmission be “deloaded” in the affected areas for safety.
He said the injection substations affected by the flood included Lekki Transmission Station, Agungi , Ademola and Anifowoshe.
“Victoria Garden City, Waterfront, Maroko and Oniru Injection Stations are completely out.
“We need to look at the extent of the effect of the flood on our equipment.
“However, we are working round the clock to restore supply to our esteemed customers,” he said.
Idemudia urged customers to show understanding over the outage.
The Lagos government also urged calm and vigilance.
Commissioner for the Environment Babatunde Adejare, who inspected the affected areas, allayed fears of residents. He said the government had activated its emergency response system to rreact efficiently where necessary.
He said the floods would recede after a period of time. He attributed the cause to the high tide of the lagoon, slowing down the flow of rainfall water from drainage channels.
“We are on top of the situation. The government is concerned by flooding in some parts of Victoria Island, Lekki, Oniru and its environs and our emergency lines 112 and 767 are open 24/7 for residents to report any emergency situation,” he said.
Adejare urged residents “in the habit of dumping refuse indiscriminately, especially in drainage channels, to stop forthwith,” saying that engaging in such does not only portend health hazards, but could also lead to loss of lives and property.
He said dumping refuse in drainage meant to take flood water to the lagoon blocked such channels and as such had dire consequences that could lead to loss of lives and properties.
Adejare was concerned that despite the vigorous campaign by the government on the dangers of dumping refuse indiscriminately, some people still engaged in such acts.
“The lagoon is swollen up. There is high tide, so it would lock on our outfalls; the water would not recede or go into the lagoon as fast as it used to be, so that’s one of the main reasons why we are having flooding all over the place and coupled with our own man-made problems such as people blocking the drainage channels, people even building on drainage channels; that’s what has also been causing all these problems.
“That is a criminal thing to do; it is not good, their actions can lead to loss of lives and definitely to damage of properties; so they should stop it because it would affect some people adversely.
“You do not need to dump refuse in drainage. Eventually we would come to pick them up and with our improved services through the reforms that we are carrying out, there would not be anything like that, we would be evacuating solid waste faster than we have done,” Adejare said.
He said that the government was concerned about the safety of residents, hence the continuous call on those living in flood-prone areas to relocate temporarily pending when the rain recedes.
“Like we have been telling them, if the rain still persists, please don’t go out of your homes, except you are living by the coast or by the low line. If you are one of those, you have to move upland, move away from the coast until the rain recedes. But if you are living upland and it’s raining persistently and it’s not necessary or compulsory for you to go out, please stay indoors.
“If you also have contact with flood water, wash your hands always, whatever has been touched by the floodwater should not be eaten; it’s important,” Adejare said.
The commissioner also assured residents that the ongoing reforms in the environment sector through the Cleaner Lagos Initiative would evolve a viable solid waste management system which would make the state cleaner and healthier for residents.
Many homes in Ibadan were yesterday flooded by early on morning downpour.
Although no death was recorded properties worth many millions of naira were destroyed after five hours of continuous rainfall.
Many crop farms and fish ponds were said to have been swept away by the flood.
Mostly affected by the flood are Odo-Ona Kekere, Arapaja, Akala Way and Gbekuba
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) blamed the flooding on the failure to obey town planning rules.
The agency recommended demolition of structures built on water ways to prevent incessant flooding and loss of lives.
The rain, which began around 11am, however, did not fall in some areas of the sprawling city even though it was heavy in the affected areas.
In Odo-Ona Kekere, some houses on the river bank were flooded. Residents were forced out.
A resident of the area, Funmilayo Olode, said that a river overflew its boundaries but did not submerge the bridge over it.
“I just left my house now and realised that some houses were flooded because of the rain. Just after Odo-ona Kekere on the way to Arapaja, there is a river that flows across the road. There is a bridge over it at a point. Although the water did not flow over the bridge, houses close to the river on both sides were affected. I saw residents standing outside their houses,” said Olode.
South-West coordinator of NEMA Yakubu Suleyman said he had yet to be informed by the state office of the agency.
He said: “What is happening in Ibadan cannot be compared with the situation in Lagos. The Ibadan office has not notified me, which means that the situation is not out of hand there.
“The state government is doing its bets but people do not obey planning rule.”
Secretary of Oyo State Emergency Management Authority Akin Makinde confirmed the flooding in some areas, adding that there was no casualty.
“There were cases of flooding in Akala area of Orita Challenge and some other areas. There is no casualty but we are still inspecting the areas.
“The problem is that people built houses on water ways. The government is dredging the rivers but our people must help themselves,” Suleyman said.