Residents of Paul Oguntola Street in the Mushin area of Lagos have cried out over black, smelly water from an abandoned drainage that has taken over their road.
Coincidentally, the blocked drainage was opened up and packed in 2019 when Babajide Sanwo-Olu was campaigning to be governor, but it has been abandoned ever since.
While speaking with FIJ on Wednesday, the residents said the water has made living in the area hard.
“It really affects us and we are not happy. Motorcycle riders and their passengers often fall into the water. They just stand up and move on,” Iyabo Suraju, a resident who owns a provision store on the street, said in Yoruba.
Another resident who identified himself as Kachi, a shoe maker, said the dirty water enters people’s houses and shops when it rains.
“When heavy rain falls, everywhere is covered up. And as dirty as the water is, it enters shops and houses. In some houses, people use buckets to fetch it out,” he said.
The water, according to residents, originated from long-abandoned drainages that are now blocked.
“Governor Fashola constructed this road and ensured it was well-maintained,” Kachi said. “That time, they used to pack the drainages two times in a year. The road was abandoned under Ambode. Even the sweepers stopped, claiming government was no longer paying them.
“When Governor Sanwo Olu was campaigning, people came from the local government, opened up one of the drainages and packed it. They made a video and used it for their campaign. Since then, nothing else has been done.”
Kachi, who pleaded with government to help get rid of the water, said it affects his shoe-making business. Customers, according to him, feel reluctant to enter his shop by the roadside, as struggling cars might splash the water on them.
On the smell emanating from the stagnant water, Iyabo said residents have learnt to live with it since there is nothing they can do.
“The smell is bad. But there’s nothing we can do,” she said.
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