Over 2,000 People Displaced, 200 Houses Destroyed in Ocean Surge On Ondo Community
The flooding happened at Ayetoro, a riverine community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Michael Alaje woke up early Saturday to his house being submerged by ocean flood. It was about 2 a.m. and the resident was more concerned about survival. He could not save any of his properties in the house.
Hundreds of homes and properties including schools, and hospitals were destroyed while over 2,000 persons were displaced by the Saturday incident.
Our correspondent who visited the community located in the southern senatorial district of the state, on Saturday afternoon, witnessed the damage the water incursion had caused to many homes.
Counting his losses, Mr Alaje said the ocean surge occurred in the midnight when no one could save any of their properties.
“It was a terrible scenario for us, as many of us have lost our belongings to the sea incursion. As you can see, many of us have been rendered homeless now. The government has abandoned the community to be at the mercy of ecological disasters.”
Another resident, Ikulajo Adesola, said people in the community are scared that they may be wiped out by the sea in the next few days.
“As at this morning (Saturday), the ocean surge has wiped out some parts of Ayetoro community. Asides homes and properties that have been destroyed, the residents now live in fear of getting wiped out by the sea in the next few days.”
It was gathered from residents that Saturday’s incident was not the first of its kind.
“We have long called the attention of the government to our challenges but nobody is listening to us. We are asking that government should put in place ocean control mechanism like it was done in other civilised parts of the world or relocate people to other safer areas,” Bamidele Aiyadatiwa said.
He explained that Saturday’s incident submerged over 200 houses and shops.
Also speaking on the incident, the secretary of Ayetoro Youth Congress, Emmanuel Aralu, said the community has been battling with the challenges for over 15 years. “The surge is the failure of the state government and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to complete the shoreline protection contract awarded to Atlantic Dredgers Limited (DAL) in 2006. No life was lost but the economy of the community will not be the same again,”
He called on the government to immediately give residents of the community necessary assistance to avoid future occurrences.