….Victims send SoS to Government
The joy of residents of Share, Headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara state, who have been yearning and praying for rain due to the harsh weather experienced recently was short lived because of the losses incurred in the aftermath of the rainstorm that wreck havoc in the ancient town on Friday evening.
Many residents have been rendered homeless and property worth millions of naira destroyed in the town as a result of the heavy rainstorm that wreaked havoc in the ancient town.
The Herald learned that the rain which lasted for almost two hours turned to sorrow in some areas when some of the affected residents of a rainstorm started counting their losses.
When the newsmen visited the affected areas, the affected residents were sighted on Saturday to behold the devastating impact of the late night rain which cut across the town.
By Saturday morning, more than 50 houses were said to have been damaged by the rain; with most of them having their roofs blown off. The incident also rendered many families homeless.
The rain, the third in 2019, started about 4:30 p.m. and lasted for two hours. Some of the affected residents had to seek refuge in other neighbour’s houses.
Among the areas mostly affected are Baale, Ajiga, Gboloko, Abioye, Adegbokun, Onigagan, Ayegbo among other compounds were seriiously affected and most residents had hectic time moving around.
Primary and Junior Secondary School roofs were blown off and most PHCN poles in the ancient town were pulled off, leading to blackout in the whole community.
The incident has created brisk business for carpenters and building materials sellers, who have been busy carrying out repairs on the damaged structures. Many owners said they wouldn’t want to delay repairs for fear that another rain would fall and damage their remaining property.
When the newsmen visited some of the affected areas, many people were found outside with their property, trying to savaged some like foams, chairs, carpets and clothes among others.
A resident, Mr. Abdulkareem Subair, who also suffered losses in the flood, said: “I was inside my room when the rain started at about 4:30p.m. After some time, one of my sons called out, saying there was water covering everywhere. That was when we came out and found out that we have been trapped by flood inside the house.
“The entire area has been covered by water. We started scooping water and trying to free the drainage around to pave way for the water. It was a terrible experience. As I am talking to you, we don’t know where to sleep today as another rain is about to fall again,” he narrated.
Another resident, Mr. Dayo Agbana, who blamed the rainstorm on indiscriminate felling of trees and dumping of refuse on waterways and buildings nears water channels thanked God that no lives were lost in the flood.A
According to him, the story would have been different if it had happened in the night. We have warned our people severally against the felling of trees in the bush for charcoal without replacing it.
Also speaking, the high chief Afunsho of Shareland, Mr Olohuntoyin Yemi Idris whose house beside Share Police Station was submerged by flood attributed the incidence to the indiscriminate dumping of refuse on waterways.
Another victim, Iyabo Alade who was busy packing out his flooded household goods for washing and drying, narrated how a the rainstorm blown off her house’s roof, and how the entire ground floor was flooded by water, saying the whole building would have been covered and lives would have been lost if people had gone to bed.
She explained that the surging water woke her up around 4.45 pm only to discover that the outside of their house had been flooded.
According to her, ‘I did not know the actual time the rain started but I woke up when I felt something cold in my body only to discover that the mattress was already soaked, this was around 4.45 pm
“At this time there was no light so I put on my torch light and tiptoed to the living room where the whole area was flooded and when I peeped outside only to behold the whole compound already flooded and water was flowing into the living room”.
“I rushed and woke up my kids in case of any eventuality, we tried to pack some perishable items like electronics into one of the rooms until the rain subsided around 6:15 pm. You can see that the water is gradually receding from the living room”, Iyabo said.
It was a similar experience for Mrs Iyabo Jimoh of Adegbokun compound, her husband was not around when the rain started. She was at home with her children and an aged father in-law. She told newsmen that she called her husband to come and lead the aged father out when she discovered that the roof had been blown off. Some of their property had been packed outside when our correspondent visited the area.
“You can see our property outside because the rooms are already flooded and we will remain like this until the water recedes”.
Speaking to the newsmen, the National President, Share Descendants’ Union(SDU), Elder Gabriel Yemi Jimoh lamented the incident, stressing that the level of the damages were devastating.
The SDU President who was on-the-spot assessment of the damage described the rate of the damage as shocking considering the recent economic reality. He therefore, called on the Government at all levels, good spirited individuals, as well as the National Emergency Agency (NEMA), to come to the aid of victims of the recent rain storm that ravaged the entire Share community and rendered many reiadents homeless.
He told the newsmen that the disaster, which blown off more than 300 houses in the town, started about 4:30pm during the weekend, with heavy thunder storm, which threw the entire communities into panic, agony and confusion.
Narrating the ordeal of his people to our reporter shortly after conducting them round parts of the affected compounds, the community leader described the disaster as shocking, especially coming at a time when the people are seriously suffering untold hardship occasioned by the present economic crisis .
Elder Jimoh noted that the disaster has wrecked havoc in the community, turning victims “to refugees in their father land”
He also appealed to the Local Government to as a matter of urgency swing into action by setting up a committee to look into the problem.
His words: ”I am appealing to government and other relevant agencies in emergency situations to come to the assistance of my people who are now going through untold hardship occasioned by last Friday’s rain storm disaster, which has rendered scores of families homeless”
He further stated that the calamity has compounded the problem of his people who are predominantly farmers.