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Flooding: Kwara Residents Lament Hardship Caused By Dilapidated Bridges

“The second bridge has collapsed and the people are still taking risks passing beside it since they don't have a choice."

The residents of Medina along Oke-Foma Road in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State, North-central Nigeria, have shown their dissatisfaction over two dilapidated bridges at the edge of a drainage network.

The concrete drainage and asphalt road, a 2019 zonal intervention project for erosion control, begins immediately after the first dilapidated bridge and ends nearly close to the second one, which had recently collapsed owing to heavy rainfall.

While the residents of the Kwara State community told HumAngle they were grateful for the construction of the drainage, they urged the government to rebuild the two bridges at both ends of the project.

The zonal intervention project had elicited joy from members of the community who imagined erosion and poor road conditions would be a thing of the past. But the worsening state of the bridges has become a source of distress for them, especially as it is now the rainy season.

Recounting their ordeal, Kehinde Issa said some residents who rented an apartment in the community have run away due to disasters they always encounter in the rainy season. Many who owned houses, she added, are forced to keep enduring the hardship.

“If residents decide to go through Oloje road, an alternative way to the community, behind Air Force lane, the river in Oloje used to surge with water and they would not have any option but to wait for the water to subside,” she said.

She asked the government to help the community remove the collapsed bridges and replace them with new ones.

“If that is not done, our plight is not yet resolved. The drainage and repair of this road reduced the problem a little, but people still pity us whenever it is raining.”

Alhaji Mecho, a mechanic in the area, agrees with Issa about the bridges being the source of the community’s woes.

“If you trek forward a bit, there was a soakaway down the road,” he said, referring to the second collapsed bridge.

“The two bridges demarcated the construction of the road and project because it started in front of the first bridge and ended in front of the second bridge. The second bridge has collapsed, and the people are still taking risks passing beside it since they don’t have a choice.”

In an interview with Alhaja Balkis, she disclosed that the water used to flood her house before the construction of the drainage, but described the bridges as “horrible”.

“This road was like that of Isale Foma, but now, it has changed to good after the construction of this asphalt road and drainage. The water always flooded this place. This road was very bad before, but now the road is smooth and makes it easy for the tricycles and cars to pass freely,” she told this reporter.

“The bridge down the street is the basis of our hardship in this community. The house beside the bridge used to be flooded with water. Although the drainage has reduced the problem for others, it has made it worse for those living closer to the bridge.”

“The solution to the problem is to rebuild the two dilapidated bridges. This is the only thing that can bring convenience to this community and will make the work the government has done have an impact,” suggested  Soliu Abdulrahman, another resident.

Abdulrahman narrated how the flood on the bridge had once swept away someone who was nearby and how the erosion used to disturb them at their workplace. 

“The second bridge has just been destroyed by heavy rain. It has spoiled before, and they repaired it, and now it has broken down again,” he observed.

Aminullahi Abdulhakeem stated that the newly rebuilt road would not last for five years “with the look of things,” adding that the drainage has helped in controlling the rates of erosion.

“When this place was without drainage, it was very terrible, but this drainage really assisted us in this community. This is because the road is manageable for now,” he said.

All efforts to reach the Kwara State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Suleiman Rotimi Iliasu, for comments proved abortive as several texts and calls were ignored.


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