Community in distress after recession of flood in Ogun state (exclusive photos, video)

Residents of Warewa and neighbouring communities in Ogun state were in serious distress in October when the Oyan dam in the state was opened, and their areas flooded.

Many of them had cried out to the government to come to their rescue at the time, but the only help they could get at the moment was to vacate their houses and seek refuge outside their communities since the flood did not allow them any thorough fare.

When our correspondents visited the communities when the places were flooded, the only reasonable means of transportation was the use of canoes on roads which were initially motorable and those who were not comfortable with transportation on boats were made to stay at home and wait for the water to recede before moving out.

After the water had receded, many of the residents started returning to their respective homes, to fix the properties that were destroyed and to chart a new course for themselves as they try to return to normalcy.

Warewa community

This estate was half-filled with water when the dam was opened about four weeks ago. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi visited the area again to ascertain the level of damage that had been done in the areas and the people’s tales were unending.

They bemoaned the absence of government’s intervention in their worries and the negligence of the people’s welfare as they claimed that no government official visited the places to see what happened to the people themselves.

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The roads, although now motorable, still remained in different states of disaster as crew moved around to speak with some of the affected residents.

Mrs Okaka Susannah, whose house is the first on the street, had cloud gathering in her eyes as she explained the terrible condition her family has been since the flood started.

Warewa community

The houses have now been abandoned and are only being inhabited by community Vigilante group members. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi

According to her, they had lost properties worth millions to the damage and her husband, having lost his job recently, does not have as much as required to feed the family, let alone replace the properties that had been destroyed by the unexpected dam.

“This is what we go through every year, my brother,” she began quite sadly.

“Whenever the dam is opened, everywhere gets flooded and our house is often filled to its capacity with the water from the flood.

Warewa community

Another part of the community showing the height of the flood after the recession. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi

“The last one was particularly unexpected as the flood entered the house, the mattresses became soaked, the televisions had to be raised up, every gadget in the house had to be moved, but we still could not handle the destruction from the flood,” the fashion designer explained further.

She also lamented how some of her customers’ clothes were destroyed by the water and how helpless she always appeared each time the owners of the clothes wanted to collect them.

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“In fact, feeding is now very difficult for us because my husband lost his job and matters have been made worse with the flood from the dam that was opened.

Warewa community

This man had to access his house with the use of a make shift bridge, such was the extent of the damage in the area. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi

“Every time television stations like yours come here, they capture images of our house, yet nothing has been done about it over the years.

“We even learnt that some people were asked to write down some names to get some compensation from the government, but we were not informed early enough. Maybe people did that because we are not Yoruba, I cannot say exactly,” Madam Susannah lamented further.

Speaking also on the challenges being faced after the recession of the water, a member of a local vigilante group, who preferred anonymity, stated that the communities had cried to the government for help but nothing seems to be forthcoming.

Warewa flood

Front view of Mrs Okaka Susannah’s house after the water had receded. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi

“We experience this flooding every year, but the damage done to our area this year was more than we ever anticipated.

“Look at the roads now, see the houses, people have left and some are not likely to return even though they don’t have anywhere else to stay. We had only just returned here a few days ago after staying away for about three weeks,” the security man stated.

Another resident of the area identified as Mrs Wale Abosede, explained with bitterness, how her family suffered the flood and how she has been rendered jobless since the water hit their community.

Warewa flood

The road leading to the community after the flood had receded, still remains in serious chaos. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi

According to the widow with three kids: “We had to leave the area when people started complaining that the water was getting too much.

“Customers no longer patronise me since the flood took over our area and I have run out of jobs ever since the challenges began. My three children go to school and there’s no one to help carry the burden apart from some neighbours who help us with the little they have.”

Warewa flood

Walking barefooted, Mrs Susannah returns to her shop after showing our correspondent round her apartment. She says they are yet to get any help from the government. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi

With the present economic situation in the country, more people covet the attention of the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, but are not getting any, despite the many promises made to them during the electoral process.

Many more residents who were speaking from afar stated that it would be of no importance if the checks by our crew does not yield any positive fruits, especially since several other journalists had visited to find out the people have been faring since the water from the flood receded.

Warewa flood

The woman’s apartment when the dam was opened a few weeks ago. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi

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