Homelessness in this season of recession can be suicidal. Yet, some people who have good accommodation have been displaced by the recent following the opening of Oyan Dam water, one of the tributaries of the Ogun River. No fewer than 300 houses have been flooded and 860 households affected.
The Oyan River Dam is in Abeokuta North local government area of Ogun State in the West of Nigeria, about 20 km northwest of the state capital Abeokuta. The dam crosses the Oyan River, a tributary of the Ogun River. It is used primarily to supply raw water to Lagos and Abeokuta but has the potential for use in irrigation and power generation (Wikipedia).
The affected areas include Agiliti/Maidan, Orile, Owode, Agboyi and Araromi communities in Ketu and Mile 12 areas in Lagos; and Akute and Warewa communities, as well as Estates in and around OPIC in Ogun State.
The flooding started about three weeks ago when people started calling that their communities were flooded. People have been evacuating their homes since then, while some others are trapped. If the situation persists, everywhere will be submerged. The government needs to come in.
The impact of this may be an increase in the level of homelessness in Nigeria. Presently, statistics show that Nigeria is facing about seven million housing deficit. Flood cases on the Island and on the mainland may increase this. However, calculated effort by the frontiers in the real estate industry will reduce this to the minimum.
The flood issues may reduce the number of people that desire to rent or buy a property in these areas. Lagos Nigeria is an ironic place to live. This is because while flooding may be a turn off for mainland inhabitants, most properties on the Island are built on semi-liquid lands. Occupants in areas like Agungi, and VGC, experience flooding from time to time during the rainy season. Jakande in Ajah is not a place to be during this season. The cost of buying these lands is high together with the cost of buying sand to fill it will buy a three bedroom flat in affordable areas in Lagos.
Worse still, without any flood or the release or any dam, the Island is not a place to be during the rainy season. I am still baffled by the reasons why people will prefer to invest a lot in buying a property on the Island and may not be interested in spending about twenty percent of the same amount to buy a property on the mainland.
For me, I think this has a lot to do with perception. The Lagos Island has been beautified in our minds as a place that is exclusive for the rich in the society. So we do everything possible to have a feel of the luxurious apartments on the Island. We crave and long to live a life of luxury.
Believe me, our perception has become a reality. Notwithstanding the flood on the Island, It’s still one of the classiest places to be in Nigeria.