26th September, 2011
Residents of Juba Street at Egbe-Idimu in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State on Sunday raised an alarm over the threat of gully erosion in the area.
The residents, in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said large holes are now the effects of the abandoned drainage project in the area.
They claimed that the Oghere-Juba-Alaro Drainage Collector Project, which belonged to the Lagos State Government, had been abandoned since 2008.
NAN reports that the project is for the collector to collect flood water from other channels in Oghere, council bus stop and Liasu Street and environs.
According to some of the residents, government completed the Oghere area side of the project while the Juba-Alaro end which serves as a major channel to the canal was abandoned.
A NAN correspondent who visited Juba Street reports that only a small portion of the area was accessible by foot while the rest had been eaten up by gullies.
The gully threat, NAN reports, has made some house-owners to abandon their buildings while others erected make-shift plank bridges to link their houses with those of neighbours.
One of the residents, Mrs. Enitan Balogun, told NAN they usually stayed indoors whenever it rained, to avoid being washed away by the high current of flood in the area.
She said school children and other infants were always guided so as to guard them from the flood or other accidents likely to happen in such an area.
The Acting Chairman of Juba Alaro Residents Association, Mr. James Ojubeno, told NAN that government and the residents had battled the gully problem without success since 2008.
â€œWhenever it rains in the past four years, the volume is usually up to the level of a building. It has been difficult for people on the street and we have made different representations to the state government,â€ he said.
Ojubeno said efforts to get the Ministry of Environment, State House of Assembly and the Governorâ€™s Office to intervene have not yielded results.
Pastor Abraham Aderoku, Acting Secretary of the residents association, traced the problem to the inability of water to flow into the canal.
â€œWe are not against what the state government is doing, but we believe that the planners of the project are well-trained engineers who should have anticipated the damage this water would do if it is not carried through.
â€œBut, unfortunately, these are the same people who are playing pranks on us.
â€œIf we go to their offices, they tell you they are mindful of your situation and are pitiful, but that they think the projectâ€™s papers are in one file somewhere.
â€œI remember one day it almost resulted in a fight with them at the Ministry of Environment, because we felt these things were being deliberately done,â€ Aderoku said.
One other resident, Mr. Ajuba Alaro, accused the state government of insincerity on the completion of the project.
â€œWe are appealing to the state government to come and complete the channels, because one channel is coming from Council bus stop.