Health Hazards of Flooding: The Story of Ajegunle Residents, in Ikorodu

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With an area of 81km2 and a population of over 650,000, Ajekunle, an extension of the Ikosi-Isheri Local Government Development Area, a Lagos suburb, is located along the Mile 12, Ikorodu axis, in Lagos. Ajegunle, characterised by low-income residents, is particularly dominated by indigenes of riverine areas, who are artisans and petty traders. A common phenomenon with this environment is the annual flooding of the place which makes dwellers vulnerable to various infectious diseases and other psycho-social effects of the flood.

Patrick Akarama, a resident of Ajegunle, who sells wood, narrated his ordeal to the Pharmanewsonline crew when we visited the vicinity.

He said living in the flooded area has predisposed them to: Fever, infectious diseases, lack of portable water, lack of toilet facilities, no access to healthcare facilities, poor nutrition, and a host of other diseases.

Health Hazards of Flooding: The Story of Ajegunle Residents, in Ikorodu
An area view of Ajegunle community, in Ikorodu

Another aged resident of the area, who has been living in Ajegunle for over four decades accused governments of not coming to their aid. Although he applauded the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola, who granted them some reliefs, but he noted that no other government has bothered to care again for them.

Of more concern was the Holy Ghost Church of Christ Ministries, led by Comr. Ugochukwu D.N Chijioke, submerged in water, as the pastor was seen scoping water out of the church when our team visited.

Health Hazards of Flooding: The Story of Ajegunle Residents, in Ikorodu
After flood sensitization infograph for affected people by WHO

 

Going by the traumatic experiences of these people in a city like Lagos, public health experts have condemned the existence of such hazards without corresponding action from government, as they highlighted the psycho-social burden on the health of the people.

Dr (Mrs) S.I. Smith, head, Emergency Preparedness and Response Research Group, of the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) while speaking with Pharmanewsonline highlighted some of the effects on the victims.

Pharm. (Mrs) Bisi Bright, CEO Livewell Initiative, has also tasked government on public health awareness creation to the residents of such areas, as their living conditions can predispose them to several diseases.

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For the Councillor, representing Ward G Ikosi-Isheri LCDA, Salami Yunusa, he said they have provided some palliative measures at the LCDA level, such as the construction of a wooden foot-bridge to aid movement, sensitisation of residents on the implications of living in flooded areas, but there are still much more to be done, if the Sustainable Development Goals are to be actualised here.

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