Many residents of Ofulonu community in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State are counting their losses following the havoc wreaked by last Wednesday’s downpour.
No fewer than 10 residential buildings were flooded, damaging property worth over N10 million.
The university town has for over six years witnessed heavy flooding with Uwal-Ugwu and Agbani communities being the worst hit. For people of these areas, the rainy season has become a period of agony, misery and destruction of lives and property because of the attendant flood there.
Pecohub gathered that since 2016, the two communities had continued to live in palpable fear due to the perennial flood disaster that threatens them after the construction of major roads in Nsukka town and the subsequent channelling of flood water to the communities.
One of the victims of the August 31 incident, Festus Ugwuarua, a lecturer at the Federal College of Education, Eha-Amufu, Enugu State, told our correspondent that he was devastated, pointing out that he almost lost everything he had laboured for in life.
He, however, gave God praises that no life was lost to the flood.
According to him, none of his family members was at home on the ill-fated day, resulting to the uncontrolled damage done in the house.
“I was shocked and devastated on Wednesday, 31st August, when I returned home after receiving a phone call from a neighbour that flood had submerged our compound. My wife and I weren’t at home; likewise my children. We quickly rushed and got home at about 7:30p.m, only to meet the whole rooms waterlogged. In fact, we couldn’t explain the whole thing and my wife almost fainted. It was one disaster too many. Everything I have had was damaged; foodstuffs, books of various types, vital documents such as certificates were affected and seven of my goats were killed. The losses were enormous,” he lamented.
Ugwuarua said his family worked from the time they returned till about 7:00a.m the next day, when neighbours and friends came in their large numbers to help remove all the affected property, from the rooms.
“But as it is now, I don’t think anyone can sleep in the house for the next two weeks,” he added.
For Peter Ozioko, the situation was nothing to write home about, stressing that his entire rooms were submerged with their beds and foams soaked, a situation that forced his family members to stay awake throughout the night.
Ozioko narrated: “I thought the world was coming to an end. I thought God had decided to destroy the world again with water. I really thought it was all over. The force with which the flooding was ravaging scared me. It was too heavy to bear.”
Another victim of the flood was Mrs Appolonia Odo, a seamstress from Ezimo in Udenu Local Government Area. Her shop is located along the road from where the flood started rearing its ugly head.
She lamented the damage done to her client’s clothes in the shop, saying that the damage was worth over N100,000.
Similarly, Erochukwu Omeje who sales sacramental also suffered the same fate. According to her, it was her neighbour who arrived at his shop in the early hours of the next day that alerted her of what happened and she had to run to her shop, to see for herself the level of damage the flood did to her shop.
All the victims had bitter tales over the incident, lamenting that it happened at a period when the economy was biting too hard on Nigerians.
However, some of them attributed the unfortunate flooding in the area to poor water drainage system, compounded by the activities of the some residents.
Some of them heaped the blame on the door step of government which they alleged provided substandard water drainage system that could not contain the volume of water that passes through it after rainfall, while it constructed the Ofulonu Road. They added that people living around the area, especially those that have shops along the road dump refuse inside the drainage system; thereby worsening the situation.
Nevertheless, they called on the Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to come to their rescue as they would find it difficult to replace all the things damaged by the flood in their various homes and shops. They further appealed to his government to also look into the deplorable state of Ofulonu Road.
This was as they urged residents of the area to desist from using the drainage system provided as a dumpster.