Ayetoro, a coastal community in Ondo state, is in dire straits after it was submerged by flood for four days.
Oluwajuwon Daodu, publicity secretary of Ilaje Advancement Forum, says sea encroachment that flooded the community claimed about 500 meters of land and destroyed properties worth millions of naira.
In December 2017, TheCable’s investigation revealed how the N6.2bn shore protection work in Ayetoro, awarded in 2004 by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), was abandoned while the community was left at the mercy of the sea storm every year.
According to Daodu, Ayetoro may soon be washed into the sea and eventually go into extinction.
He said the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) and the NDDC are not making efforts to save the community.
“This is too bad for the community as the government is turning deaf ears to save our soul’s crying and yearnings every day,” he said.
“Maybe they want to wait until the whole Ilaje communities are washed into the sea before they will act positively and come to our rescue. Ilaje communities are gradually going into extinction and yet we have the 3 tiers of government that are supposed to be caring for the masses, but no they won’t.
“We have prominent sons and daughters in high places concentrating on trivial issues instead of hammering vehemently on the need to safe Ilaje nation from this catastrophical occurrence.”
Jaye Ikuyelorimi, a youth in the community, told TheCable that the sea storm flooded the community for four days and destroyed many homes.
He alleged that the contractor handling the shore protection project, that is meant to shield the community from the annual sea storm, has left the site.
“The flood was very serious. It has displaced so many people. You know this is the raining season and it will still keep coming; so, we are no longer at peace,” Jaye said.
According to Victor Akinluwa, the visit of Agboola Ajayi, deputy governor of Ondo, to the community has raised their hope that something will be done to ameliorate the impacts of the age-long natural disaster.
“The deputy governor said that our cries have reached heaven and something will be done about the sea storm,” Akinluwa said.
“He said the government will channel our challenges to the federal government who is responsible for protecting our shores. The deputy governor promised that the state government will send relief materials to community members who are displaced.”