Festac landlords, residents agonise as floods wreck homes

Landlords and residents of Amuwo-Odofin Festac, Lateef Jakande Estate and Amowu-Odofin Estate all in Amowu-Odofin local government area of Lagos state have cried out to the state government over the perennial flooding in the areas. They appealed to the authorities to check the activities of people who block the various drainages meant to channel water out of the locations.

Festac town and adjoining estates have witnessed a surge in flooding in recent times with some residents having to relocate from their homes at the peak of the rainy season.
Blueprint reports that the rains this year have wreaked havoc on many settlements and estates in Amowu-Odofin with attendant loss of property.

Attempts made by this reporter to reach the local government chairman, Engineer Valentine Buraimoh, were futile as he neither picked calls put through to him nor returned the calls.

A landlord and president of Landlords/Residents Association, Amowu Odofin Estate, Prince Adeyemi Ayilara, bemoaned the activities of “powerful individuals” which have further worsened the situation over the years while the state government has also turned a blind eye to complaints by residents.

He, however, said whilst the Lagos state government had deployed men and resources to clear the canals and drainages in the areas, the interventions had yielded little results.
“We have been having some fundamental problems regarding the flooding in Amuwo FESTAC axis as a result of the underground drainage system that was blocked. As a matter of fact, for about six weeks now, the Lagos state government has deployed engineers to different spots within the areas trying to see how they can fix the challenge. They came with heavy machineries to show how serious the challenges are with flooding in this area.

“There are some vital areas that are important to be channelled, but these areas have been blocked by certain individuals for their personal use. Some persons are building shanties on the gutters, others close to the gutters round the entire fence of the estate. They don’t carry out any form of sanitation activities and the most disturbing part is that the majority of them are non-residents. We have called on the state government whose officials promised to come and demolish the obstructing buildings but to our surprise, its years now and nothing has happened.”

The estate president urged residents of the estate to intensify efforts in evacuating blocked gutters for the health of the people affirming that the original master plan of the estate had been distorted.

An estate agent, Ferdinand Obozuwa, attributed the deplorable state of the estates to the absence of government’s control in the running of the estates.

“When a resident is engaged in any activity that is considered inimical to the health of the estates since they were sold off by the government, nobody wants to obey simple rules any longer; hence the many distortions and obstructions being witnessed.”