Residents of Osogbo, Osun State, have asked the state government, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Osun State Emergency Management Agency (OSEMA), and other relevant agencies to stop another flood in the state.
This is because the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) recently told southern states to get ready for heavy rain and flooding rivers in the last few days of the rainy season.
Professor Mansur Bako Matazu, the head of NiMet, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a workshop on the hydro-meteorological status and outlook system. The workshop was put on by NiMet and the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) (HydroSOS).
In a conversation with 460PLAY, a landlord named Kayode Simeon said that the call was made because some parts of the state capital and other parts of the state were flooded in August and October of 2021.
“The thing about floods is that they get bigger and bigger as the years go by,” he said. It might happen in a small way now, but if it isn’t handled well, the next time it might be worse, and the damage might be too much to handle.
“I was told that the amount of rain is getting worse, which is the real problem.”
Oyewole Matthew noticed on his own that flooding caused by rain is not a new problem in Osogbo.
He remembered that in 2010, a flood hit half of Osogbo. The same thing happened again in 2019.
“In 2010, flooding hit the capital city of Osogbo, which led to the loss of both lives and property. In 2011, the problem was so bad that the state government of Rauf Aregbesola had to call an environmental state of emergency.
“In 2019, parts of the state capital were flooded. Many buildings were damaged, but no one was hurt.
“The state government moved quickly, but in 2021, the flood happened again.” After all that rain in August, we just woke up to find that most of Osogbo was flooded.
“It happened again in October, but not just in Osogbo but mostly in Ilesa town. The government did something about it and dredged most of the state’s rivers.”
He told the government that they shouldn’t wait until things get out of hand to do something.
“We must not deceive ourselves. It’s not for sure that Osogbo is prone to flooding, and NiMet’s forecast says that rain will hit southern states again this year, just like it did in 2021. They said it would happen in 2021, and it did. They want to do it again in 2022. We must do everything we can to stop a disaster.
“It’s not news that Kogi and Anambra states are in trouble, and I heard on the news that about 500 people have died because of the floods that hit both states recently. Before something like this happens to us in Osun, the government should move quickly!”
Oluwaseun Babatunde, the owner of a house, said that he and his family had to move out of their home because of the flood.
“Well, we had no idea that where we built our house was prone to flooding. In fact, it was completely safe a few years ago. So, we bought the land and built on it until something bad happened. When flood waters came in suddenly in the middle of the night and woke us up, we had to move what little we could save out of the house.
Olusola Oladepo, the Osun State Commissioner for Environment, was not available to talk about the topic because he did not respond to messages sent to him.