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PHOTO STORY: Canoes to the rescue in Lagos, Ogun flooded communities

PHOTO STORY: Canoes to the rescue in Lagos, Ogun flooded communities
November 03
09:42 2023

David, a 13-year-old JSS 3 student who should be in school, learning alongside his peers, finds himself navigating the waters in a canoe, ferrying people who are affected by the relentless flooding in the Isheri north area of the OPIC estate in Lagos and Ogun state.

The heartbreaking reality is that David, like many other young people in the community, is unable to attend school regularly due to the flooded streets.

“All the roads leading to my school are flooded. But our school didn’t close down despite the flood. If I decide to go to school, who will look after my 3-year-old canoe that brings in little money for me? If I leave it behind, it will be stolen,” David said with a smiling face.

In a recurring and devastating environmental crisis, communities in Lagos and Ogun states continue to grapple with severe flooding, primarily attributed to the periodic opening of the Ogun Dam. This natural disaster has inflicted significant hardship on local residents, impacting their daily lives and causing the loss of properties and livelihoods, with no comprehensive solution from the federal government in sight.


On October 25, the federal government assured residents of the Isheri community in Ifo LGA of Ogun stateof a permanent solution to flooding. 

When TheCable visited the affected communities, commuters resorted to inventive measures, such as okada riders adding makeshift hose to the exhaust system to drain water while riding on the flooded roads. In some cases, only sports utility vehicles can be seen navigating flooded roads, while canoes have become the primary mode of transport.

Tim Amosun, a researcher and public commentator, said the purpose of creating the Ogun-Osun dam has been defeated; instead, the dam has caused more damage to the neighbouring communities as they get affected by floods each time the dam is opened.


Located in Abeokuta north LGA of the state, the dam is managed by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority.

Below are photos of the impact of the flooding.

A motorcycle with passengers riding through the water


A canoe ferrying residents at OPIC estate



Young David paddling his canoe with passengers on board


Not only humans, but animals are affected too — A ram is seen in the middle of a flooded street at OPIC estate


Barber’s shop closed for business as water takes over premises.


A two-story building affected by flood



A cement container submerged in a flooded street


A house submerged in water



A store affected by the flood


Residents of this apartment had to evacuate due to flooding



A little girl walking in the water


Flood takes over River View estate



The front gate of Isheri north estate


A nursing mother and her baby walking through a flooded street in Warewa community in Ogun state


Residents of Warewa community heading out


A submerged house in Warewa community


Two nursing mothers exchange pleasantry while making their way through the flood


A sport utility vehicle (SUV) drives through a flooded street


Okada riders using makeshift pipes on their motorcycle exhaust system to drain water


Two boys walking back home from school


‘I cannot come and kill myself’ — a driver sleeping under his broken-down truck on a flooded street in Isheri north, OPIC Estate, Lagos


An Okada rider washing his bike


Paddling home… A father and his daughter heading home on their canoe

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