Lagos floods leave many homeless

2010-10-11 21:02

Lagos - Scores of slum residents in the Nigerian commercial capital Lagos have been left homeless by flooding from a river following last month's opening of a dam, residents and an official said on Monday.

Officials have estimated that more than 400 homes and shops in the east of the sprawling city of some 15 million people were flooded after the Ogun River overflowed its banks.

A Lagos state official said the dam had to be opened in late September because allowing it to burst would have caused far more damage. Residents were warned in July, he said.

"Our advice to them now is that they should vacate the areas until further notice," said the special adviser to the Lagos governor on the environment, Sesan Olanrewaju.

Commuters still using the flooded Ikorodu-Ketu road in the area can spend six hours travelling the 12km route.

"This is the worst experience I have had since I moved into Ajegunle 15 years ago," Sikiru Badamosi, 42, a furniture maker in one of the affected communities told AFP as he tried to salvage what remained of his property.

Flooding has also hit Nigeria's north this rainy season, destroying entire villages and huge swathes of farmland.