Properties worth millions of naira were destroyed recently in Ekiti State due to heavy rainfall on February 25 and March 3, which as a result pulled down many buildings and electrical poles thereby rendering many families homeless. At Oke-Ako, in Ikole Local Government Area of the state, over 105 buildings were affected and electrical poles were damaged.
In many parts of Nigeria, like the rest of the world, rainfall brings relief and comfort. Farmers look forward to the season in order to have a bountiful harvest.
However, the recent rainfall accompanied by a heavy storm on March 3 in Oke-Ako in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State brought destruction and darkness to the community.
It destroyed at least 105 buildings in the community, rendering many families homeless, crippling their sources of livelihood as well as cutting off their electricity supply.
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The torrential downpour which lasted for two hours destroyed electricity facilities across the town and put the community in total darkness, adding to the burden of rural dwellers battling cash scarcity.
This destruction came less than a week after similar fate befell residents of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. While other Nigerians were waiting for the results of the presidential and National Assembly elections after exercising their franchise, many residents in Ado-Ekiti were counting their losses when after heavy rain characterized by storms destroyed properties worth millions of naira on the evening of February 25.
Roof tops were blown off, electricity poles and wires were destroyed both in commercial and residential areas. Government institutions, schools, churches, farms were not spared in the natural disaster.
Areas affected mostly in the Ado-Ekiti downpour include IIawe Road area, Fiyinfolu, Ajilosun, Dallimon, Okesa, Barracks Road, Old Governor’s office area, Irona, Ekute Road and others towns in Ekiti such as Ifaki, Ayedun, Ijesa-Isu, among others.
A textile merchant along Oke-Ori-Omi, Benard Okafor, lamented the loss he suffered from the rainfall.
“The roof of my shop was blown off, all my goods were soaked with water, I only came the second day to see my shop like this,” he said
Another trader, Mrs. Yetunde Alimi, said she was not happy seeing her shop destroyed, completely blown off, describing the situation as very sad and dehumanizing. “I need huge cash to put the shop in order, while hoping that help would come.”
In an on-the-spot assessment at Oke-Ako, Ekiti State governor, Biodun Oyebanji, described the occurrence as highly devastating.
Oyebanji, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Monisade Afuye, was conducted round the affected areas by the Regent of the town, Her Royal Highness Ogunbiyi Tinuade Adebayo; the lawmaker representing Ikole Constituency 2, Hon Adeoye Aribasoye; and the Chairman of Ajoni Local Council Development Area, Hon Michael Ogungbemi.
Oyebanji, while condoling the people on the destruction caused by the rainstorm, expressed delight that no life was lost.
“Information at our disposal and on-the-spot assessment revealed that roofs of scores of residential buildings and electricity facilities were destroyed during the stormy rainfall, thereby rendering many homeless and helpless.
“We sympathize with the victims at this trying time and plead for calmness, in the sense that a natural disaster of this nature is one occurrence that is difficult to control. But with personal precautions and right efforts, its effects can be minimized,” he said
The governor opined that his administration is ready to support interested individuals to go into tree planting as part of efforts to safeguard the environment and minimize havocs being wrecked on buildings by rainstorm.
“Tree planting is very essential. I observed that landlords here are not planting trees, I am not seeing them standing beside our houses. Let us inculcate the habit of tree planting to serve as wind breakers against storms.
“Let me also assure you that the state government won’t abandon you and allow you to regret in these current devastating conditions. We shall give all the necessary support to mitigate whatever effect this situation must have caused you,” he added.
Speaking on the level of destruction in the area, the lawmaker representing the constituency in the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, described the destruction as massive, assuring the people that succour will soon come for the victims.
According to him, the present government is a mass-oriented administration. He appealed to the victims to be peaceful and have faith in the current government, saying help will be offered to them to recover their losses.
The General Manager, Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Jide Borode, said the rainstorm effect could have been minimized if the landlords had keyed into the tree planting initiative of the state government.
Daily Trust Saturday observed that most of the facilities, especially electricity poles and cables affected during the downpour were yet to be fixed, compounding the pains of the people and exposing them to further danger.