Hundreds of residents in parts of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, were on Wednesday night sacked from their homes by a downpour.
Severely hit were Agbebukola and Abidogun markets in Ido Local Government Area. Others are communities around Odo-Ona, Oke-Ayo, Omi-Adio, NIHORT, Apata and Gbekuba areas of the city.
Aside destroying property and goods worth several millions of naira, some bridges linking local communities were also overrun by the flood, rendering many residents stranded.
The bridge linking NIHORT with Gbekuba and Idi-Ishin was submerged, creating traffic snarls for motorists and breaking the link to offices and homes of many residents.
It was learnt that the rain started at about 7.15pm and subsided at 11.10pm.
Community leaders were seen yesterday morning at Lade area of Omi Adio, making distress calls to Nigerian Railway Corporation officials to halt movement of trains to the area to avert accident.
A private school with boarding facilities situated at Gbekuba area was flooded and many students were trapped in their hostels.
Sources said some of those rescued in the flood last Wednesday night are receiving medical attention in an undisclosed hospital.
University College Hospital (UCH) spokesman Mr. Deji Bobade said the hospital has been placed on alert.
The popular Omi Adio market as well as offices and shops in the area were flooded.
About 200 shops were estimated to have been destroyed by the flood despite the water channels and drainages constructed by local authorities to control flood.
Crop farmlands and fish ponds were not spared, as farmers lost huge investments to the flood.
Though the number of homes flooded could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, but a source said that no fewer than 100 houses were affected at Lade and Gbekuba areas.
Market women looked amazed yesterday morning as water level rose, covering their shops where goods worth several millions of naira were destroyed.
A spokesman for the Babalola community, Comrade Tajudeen Oladepo, told reporters that parts of the market affected by the flood include a fuel station, a rail line at Bako area, markets, houses, shops and a magistrate’s court by the side of the market.
Oladepo, who said he was inside the market till around 12am Thursday morning, added that he made calls across to traders to inform them of the incident.
According to him, most of the traders – mostly foodstuff sellers – lost almost all their wares to the flood.
“As you can see, some of them (wet foodstuffs) have been displayed in the sun for drying. The disaster is painful. In fact, some of them who could not withstand the loss collapsed and were resuscitated this morning.
He appealed to the government to come to the aid of the traders. He also called for a rebuilding of the market to prevent a recurrence.
Chairman of Rebuild Forum Alabede Emiola said the flood was caused by blockage of River Omi flowing channel.
Emiola called on both the federal and state governments to dredge the river, adding that the crisis has become an annual occurrence
Chairman, Ido Local Government Wahab Oladejo expressed surprise at the flood, saying the council just finished dredging rivers in the area. He described the flood as a disaster.
He said: “This is beyond anybody’s imagination. It is a national disaster. Recently, Governor Abiola Ajimobi directed that all rivers in the local government that are in critical condition should be dredged and this we did last week. So, this incident is amazing.”
Residents of other areas affected wailed while seeking government’s assistance in finding lasting solution to the perennial flood in the city.
Recounting her ordeals, a resident at Gbekuba, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Adeogun, said her family had to run out of the house at about 2am, when their rooms were overtaken by flood.
Another victim, Pa Sulaiman Akande, who lost bags of cocoa seed to the flood, described the downpour as a setback to the community.
He said despite communal effort to prevent the incident, the flood still came and wreck havocs.
“We are appealing to the government to act fast now to save the residents from disaster. We don’t know what to expect in the month of August. We believe that state government can prevent this tragedy by constructing modern drainages and dredging the Omi River. We have other rivers within the city. People throw refuse inside them and blocked the waterway; this is quite unfortunate. Let the government improve on the refuse management to avert this problem,” he said.