19 November 2017

Nigeria: Help! Our Roads in Tatters, Ago Palace Residents Cry Out

As the end of rainy season approaches, residents of Ago Palace Way in the Cele area of Lagos State are beginning to heave a sigh of relief.

This is because the heavy downpour that characterised this year's rainy season, only succeeded in making a bad situation worse, as the deterioration of inners roads in the neighbourhood visited untold hardship on them.

While the state government has done a good job by completing the stretch of the road that links Festac Town, most roads in the area are yet to receive government's attention.

That is the reason residents of Mike Abuchi Street, Olarenwaju Street, and Community Road, struggle to keep these streets passable through collaborative efforts. They often fill failed sections of the roads with stones and broken blocks after heavy downpours.

Interestingly, Community Road, one of the worst hit inner roads is an important road linking Ago Palace Way to Isheri, and Oke-Afa.When The Guardian visited the area after a heavy downpour, large pools of water had taken over just as the potholes increased in sizes. With this condition in place, motorists and pedestrians alike had a tough time navigating their way.

The poor state of the road is impacting negatively on commuters as commercial motorcylists charge as much as N200 for a drop along Community Road. Connecting streets like Lamidi Ariyo, Sam Karol, Omavie, and Pastor Ojediran among others are also facing flooding challenges.

Speaking on the challenges that residents face, a trader, Mrs. Jennifer Orakwe, said already some of the inner roads have been closed to commuters because they are inaccessible due to constant flooding.She deplored the worsening condition of roads in the area, and called on the state government to repair and upgrading them so that the residents could go about their activities unhindered.

According to her, pedestrians and motorists in the area hardly make use of these roads nowadays due to their pathetic conditions.Another resident, Nelson Abakwe, told The Guardian that but for the efforts of landlords in the area, who routinely come together to fill failed portions of the roads with broken blocks, some of the roads would have been completely submerged by water.

He also called on the government to come to their aid and repair the road.Kehinde Musa, a carpenter, whose shop is constantly waterlogged, said the absence of an effective drainage system in the area accounts for the biggest problem plaguing the street.

He pointed out that the drainage constructed on one side of the street, usually overflows and the water floods the surrounding area because the narrow drainage is incapable of handling conveniently, the high volume of water during downpour. He said: "Sometimes the drainage overflows, and once that happens, everywhere becomes flooded. For three days last week, customers could not enter my workshop because everywhere was filled with water. The road was waterlogged and impassable."

He also gave kudos to landlords in the area, who are always trying to ameliorate the situation, adding that such interventions are needed to contain the situation."If effective drainage is put in place, I think the road will be motorable and the flood defeated," Musa said, adding that the state government must fulfill its promise to construct a link bridge on the road, and erect a drainage system to direct the flood water."

According to him, the link bridge connecting Community Road with Isheri, and Ijegun when constructed, would ease traffic at Jakande Gate, and benefit residents of the area and indeed the state.

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