May 30, 2024

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Blocked Canal threatens Our Lives says Makoko residents

4 min read

Mojisola Lawal
The canal located beside Makoko youth playground in Makoko, Yaba Local Council Development Area, according to residents in the community is poising a lot of danger and threat to the lives of the children playing in the playground just as filthy water from the canal overflows to the entire stretch of the road causing damage to it.

The swampy canal as gathered is covered on the surface by plastic waste, grass and dirt which causes blockage with the canal overflowing to the road making passage almost impossible whenever it rains for passersby and motorists.
According to the Chairman, Makoko Community Development Committee, Odunsi Adeboye the canal is one of the major challenges the community has been battling since over a year that it has caused further damage to other infrastructure whenever it overflows.
He said “ Our challenges in Makoko community are numerous but the one that requires urgent government intervention is the canal that is located beside the Makoko youth playground. Importantly, there are three public schools that is situated beside the canal, and now that it is filled to the brim with the surface covered with dirt that you will hardly know that it is swampy, it poses danger to the school children and the underage as they could fall into it. Apart from this, it has washed off the asphalt on the tarred roads creating potholes and making it flooded. You can’t imagine the kind of stress residents and other road users are subjected to when such instance happened. People use rainbows to cross the flooded road while many cars are trapped in the filthy water. We know the government is trying. Our representatives at the National and State Assemblies are doing their best because there was a time when potable water was a major challenge but our representatives have been able to sink borehole in strategic locations in the community. Even the LCDA Chairman, recently constructed a primary healthcare centre to boost access to qualitative healthcare while residents and the police are making frantic efforts at securing the community but the challenge of the canal is beyond an individual which is why I am appealing to the Lagos state government to urgently come to our aid and ensure that it is cleared in no distant time to prevent an impending disaster.”
For Apostle Akintimehin Claudius who is Chairman, Act of Apostle/ Ori-Oke Banana Community Development Area Makoko community is very hostile to living but in the absence of a conducive habitation, we cannot but manage to cope with the environment.
Apostle Akintimehin revealed that before the Makoko road was tarred people had to cross the dilapidated and flooded road whenever it rains in boat shoe. In fact then there were people on standby earning a living from hiring boat shoes out to residents.
In continued response he said “before the road was tarred residents had to walk through the flooded road in boat shoes. I have been living in Makoko community since 1963. But as it is said Rome was not built in a day. There is need for us to persevere and be patient with the government if we need an improved standard of living. It takes turn and it will definitely get to our turn. If you observed before it was tarred by World Bank intervention programme roads along the canal was terribly bad. But today it has been tarred. The issue of the canal too will be resolved. Yes, it is tiring and frustrating but we have to be patient with the government to pull resources together to address this challenge. This is where we belong and we cannot angrily move out or relocate to a choice area. Development is gradual. I could remember when the Makoko road was tarred it was done halfway but for the intervention of the World Bank in 2013 who completed it. In fact it was a terrible sight to behold. Also some NGOs has been coming in to assist in upgrading out plight. They have built schools on the water for the disadvantaged children whose parents could afford to send them to school. It is tuition free. They built it on the water and provided necessary materials like textbooks and school uniforms for students. Some even sponsored residents for vocational training which has been helping to residents. I am calling on the government and other well meaning Nigerians to help in developing Makoko community. We want the government to clear the canal which is becoming a threat and also bring in developmental projects that will add value and help improve on the standard of living of residents in the community.”
Nunayan Lawrence is a Fisherman. He resides in the community. While expressing the need for government intervention, he said “The canal is fast becoming an eyesore and could be disastrous if something urgently is not done. As a fisherman, we limit our scope to the clear water. We dare not move towards that end. I am not saying they are not doing anything, they need to do more to improve on our condition.”

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