Residents of 6th Avenue, FESTAC have decried the poor state of living condition in the once sprawling elite neighbourhood owing to non-existing and poorly managed drainage system in the estate.
The Guardian gathered that whenever it rains, residents are not able to go about their normal activities because the area is usually flooded and it takes about a week, depending on the intensity of the downpour, for the floodwater to recede.
According to the Estate Manager, Mr. Okezie Madichie, out of the five estates in the area, which he manages, the entire stretch of 6th Avenue is flood-prone due to its swampy nature. He stated that the area, in the original master plan by the Federal Housing Authority, ought to have been sand-filled before plots were allocated but the Federal Government didn’t do that before selling the lands.
“Individuals filled basically everywhere in the community and most didn’t meet the standard, many of them built houses without proper drainage system and without standard foundation so a lot of the houses are very low, causing flooding when there’s a downpour,” he added.
A resident, who pleaded for anonymity said some houses use pumping machines whenever it rains to drain water out of their compounds into the road, in order for it not to weaken the foundation of their houses, but they in turn compound the problem for the community.
Another resident simply identified as Barrister Precious said each building paid N15,000 to make the road into the estate motorable. “The estate brought caterpillars for grading of the road but this only lasted for a short while, because when the rains started, we all went back to status quo as the road got damaged and returned to its previous state.
“We have been managing our affairs all alone independently of government as all the tiers of government – federal, state and local- have showed no concern to our plights in FESTAC.”
“Whenever it rains, the place looks like a river, as this is a developing swamp area and it is the individuals of this community that have made it possible for us to walk through the area, we, therefore call on government to assist us and put us out of this misery and avoid a major disaster and loss of lives and property, as another rainy season beckons,” said Mr. Uzondu, a resident of eight years.