Residents of Ogun border communities who were displaced by the recent flood caused by the Oyan Dam opening have begun to return to their homes.
This is as they lamented over the wanton level of damage the flood had done to their properties while they were away.
Some of the residents who reside in the communities stretched along the corridor of Isheri, OPIC, Arepo, Warewa and other adjoining areas fled their homes when the unscheduled release of water from the Dam flooded the community in October.
The flood submerged most of the communities thereby causing an outrage that drew the attention of the state and federal governments.
The water had since receded after over four weeks of wreaking havoc in the communities situated in the lowland areas.
PUNCH Metro, however, learnt on Thursday that both the residents and business owners were gradually returning to their homes.
Speaking to our correspondent on Thursday, a property owner in one of the estates in the community, Kehinde Lawal, said the situation had normalised except for the damage to properties running into millions of naira.
While also describing the experience as traumatising, Lawal said, “We never expected that it would get to that extent. And when it turned out that way, I had to move my family away. We just returned not quite long ago. My properties were destroyed. These include my car, sofa, generator and inverter battery. All of these properties run into millions of naira. My inverter batteries are totally damaged and each of them costs over N390,000. There are still more that I have not even discovered. I am just taking my time to settle down and see the ones I can fix.”
Another resident, Olujimi Tella, said he was on vacation when the flood started, only to return to the damage done.
He said, “When I came back from the US, there was no flood in my house. And all of a sudden, I saw the water entering my sitting room like a joke. And before I knew it, the water was up to my knees the following morning. My television, fridge, washing machine and other home appliances were in the water for weeks. The loss that I incurred is more than N10 million. I returned broke so as to recoup only to run into this crisis. It is so devastating.”
Speaking in a similar tone, a resident, Dan Ewang, said he lodged his family in a hotel while the flood crisis lasted.
“My family had come to visit when the water arrived. It took the grace of God before I was able to drive out. We had to move into a hotel where I paid close to 15,000 a day. When the flood started, I got blocks and built a fence to block the front and back of the house, but guess what? Because of the pressure of the flood, water was not entering my house from the front or the back door but from under the tiles. It ended up damaging my property. The kind of doors we use are quite expensive and I have had my doors changed over and over again.”
Another resident, Yusuf Lawan, said he did not leave, but moved his family away to the hotel while he stayed back.
“But despite that, I lost two of my water pumps and two deep freezers,” he lamented.
Our correspondent learnt that some residents refused to return but rather put their properties up for sale.
Landlords in the community have also called on the state government to explore the prospects of Internally Generated Revenue in the community.
The Chairman of Riverview Estate in Isheri, Abayomi Akinde, urged the government to fulfil its promise to find a lasting solution to the problem.
He said, “The Ogun State Government has a lot to gain if they can fix the problem in this area and not just fix the roads. We want the governor to be a statesman. By investing funds here, he has a lot to gain. The state will get back whatever money it spends here.