FEATURE: Kwara residents cry out for help as rainstorm devastates their homes
Phillip Moffitt, an American author, said: “the house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul”, but alas this narrative is not the same with residents of Sakama area of Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Twenty fourth of March, 2023 was a day with horrid experience for most residents of Sakama Quarters as the heavy rainstorm that took place on that day left a devastating imprint on the people of the community as most of them lost their homes and properties to the torrential downpour.
Days after, sizeable number of the victims who lack the financial wherewithal to fix their affected homes continue to wallow uncertainty, longing for intervention and assistance where possible.
One of the victims, Mallam Sulaiman Ayuba of Ile Tuntun, Sakama Quarters, in an interview with this reporter, narrated his ordeal.
He said, “The incident took place on Thursday last week. The rain that fell around 3:30pm destroyed all the roof of our family house. It was unfortunate because the vast majority of the occupants of this building are aged widows who are not working class. More so, the youth living here are either unemployed or underemployed who engage in menial jobs just to feed themselves.”
Asked about the damage caused by the rainstorm, he lamented that several properties such as electronic gadgets, furniture and foodstuff were lost to the unfortunate incident.
Mallam Suleiman, therefore implored the state government and well-to-do individuals in the state to come to their rescue in order to fix the devastated buildings. He further noted that most occupants of the building have been estranged from their abodes, squatting with some of their relatives and friends elsewhere.
According to him, some of the victims even sleep at the veranda of the building.
Also narrating her experience, another victim from Ile Onigbo of the community, Musa Rahmat explained that on that fateful day, pieces of ice, accompanied by heavy wind were falling from the sky and fears surged in her mind as the wind caused some buildings to collapse and eventually uprooted the rooftop of their house and those of several other buildings within the quarters.
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Also speaking on the damage caused by the rainstorm, Rahmat whose narration was filled with evident emotion revealed that the heavy downpour dealt a huge blow to their building as its rooftop was outrightly destroyed with their apartment filled with rainwater.
She furthered that they have been ejected from their room as she, her children and husband currently squat in a very small apartment belonging to one of her husband’s relatives.
The middle aged woman also pointed to another building within the vicinity, Ile Temidire that suffered the same fate as hers on that same day.
On a further walk around the affected community, our reporter discovered that most of electricity infrastructures have been destroyed by the heavy rainfall, leading to total blackout in the area.
Similarly, in the month of March alone, about three states in the country were hit by the destructive rainstorm, rendering people homeless. On March 3, reports emerged that about 105 buildings were devastated by the heavy downpour that took place at Oke-Ako in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
According to another report, similar occurrence also took place in Iyara, headquarters of Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, destroying several houses as Iyara Community High School was not spared either.
The disaster, consequently, rendered a yet-to-be-ascertained number of people homeless.
However, the climate disasters being experienced across the country were contrary to the report by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, that there would be normal rainfall in 2023.
By Ibrahim Mohammed Gambari
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