Nigeria: 21 People Missing in Lagos Boat Accident, Flood Disaster
Barely three days after the unfortunate boat accident around the Ikorodu area of Lagos State leading to the death of two passengers, another boat accident occurred on Friday night with 16 passengers missing in the Mile 2 area.
This is as a massive flood yesterday hit several parts of Lagos State, sweeping away at least five persons in the Oyatoki area of Agege and displacing many residents from their homes.
The Lagos State Area Manager, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mrs Sarat Braimah, confirmed the boat incident in a statement yesterday.
Braimah said that 16 passengers onboard the ill-fated boat was yet to be accounted for.
“At about 7.45 p.m., on July 8, the National Inland Waterways Authority and Lagos State Waterways Authority received a distress call of an incident on the waterways.
“A W19 passenger Fibre boat carrying 16 people capsized along the Ojo area of the state.
“The boat going from Mile 2 to Ibeshe in Ojo axis broke the waterways rules of late travelling by setting sail at 7.45 p.m.,” she said.
Braimah said that the tide of the water drifted the boat to a stationary barge which caused it to overturn.
“It is said that all passengers on board including children were not all putting on their life jackets.
“The search and rescue team of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), National Inland Waterways (NIWA) were immediately mobilised to the scene of the incident but unfortunately could only find the boat after several hours.
“Efforts are still ongoing to locate the victims.
“The Boat Captain is also unaccounted for as at the time of this press release,” she said.
Braimah noted that the boat was currently in the custody of Marine Police.
Meanwhile, after about 48 hours of downpour, a massive flood hit several parts of the state at the weekend, sweeping away at least five persons in the Oyatoki area of Agege and displacing many residents from their homes.
Among the key areas that were flooded include Egbeda, Idimu, Ipaja, Festac, Lekki, Ikeja, Ogba and Victoria Island, forcing the affected residents to lampoon the state government on their social media handles.
Vehicles were stuck in the deluge, commuters were trapped at bus terminals, small businesses were disrupted and residents lamented the grave consequences of the flood.
Consequently, the flood caused perennial human and vehicular traffic along Awolowo road in Ikeja, Akowonjo road in Egbeda, old Oko-Oba road in Agege, Liasu road in Idimu, Herbert Macaulay in Yaba, Allen Avenue in Ikeja, Lawanson road in Surulere, the whole of Festac, Opebi, Lekki and the substantial parts of Alimosho.
While the residents blamed the disaster on the state’s acute drainage infrastructure, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, attributed it to the geographical feature of Lagos bounded by massive bodies of water in all cardinals.
In a statement by its Zonal Coordinator, South-west, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Ibrahim Farinloye yesterday, disclosed that five people were swept away by flood in the Oyatoki area of Agege.
Farinloye revealed that the incident involved two vehicles — a Lexus jeep carrying three persons and a Toyota with three occupants.
He stressed that six persons were reported to have been swept away when rainwater overflowed an uncompleted canal in the area, adding, however, that three of the victims were rescued while two were still missing.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued yesterday by the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Kunle Adeshina, the Lagos State Government said it sympathised with residents of the state over heavy flash flooding experienced in some parts of the state.
The statement quoted the commissioner, Bello as saying that flash flooding on Old Oko Oba Road followed the ceaseless rainfall of over 10 hours that led to the overflowing of the Oko Oba Canal Channel, which is presently undergoing expansion.
He said the state government “has always advised that motorists and residents should be cautious and refrain from wading through flood waters during heavy rainfalls largely because of the dangers inherent in it.
He added that the contractor handling the expansion project “has been slowed down by the intensity of the rains of the past weeks but is committed to the completion of the project.
“Because of the coastal nature of the state, it is bound to experience flooding when there is heavy rainfall, especially about a rainfall that started on Friday with high intensity and has not receded till over 36 hours after.”
He said all the water bodies into which the channels including the Oko Oba channel would deliver, had risen and would only recede hours after the rainfall ceased.
Bello appealed to residents to be very cautious as Lagos will experience more heavy rains till the end of August and that all residents and motorists should avoid having to wade through floods while it is raining.
He also urged all those living in wetland, depressed and low land in the state during this period to be wary of water levels and be ready to move to high areas during the rainfall to safeguard lives and properties.