Furniture-makers Bemoan Rising Level of Ogun River

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Chiamaka Ozulumba and Chikodilli Ozulumba

Furniture makers and artisans in Ikorodu area of Lagos state are presently ruing the impact of the current rains, which have led to an increase in water level, especially in Ajegunle area of Ikorodu town, where residents live beside the Ogun River.

One of the furniture makers, Mr. Sunday Victor, lamented that anytime it rains the river poses a huge threat to his business, as he has had to construct a wooden bridge to get into his workshop and relocated all his furniture items to the roadside due to the flood.

On a recent visit to the concerned areas, THISDAY observed that the artisans’ shops, which were built on silt, allow water to seep through any time it rains and this damages the wood.

There are several furniture makers whose workshops/showrooms line the bank of the Ogun River, and competition is high as they come up with new designs to win over customers. For instance, a seven-seater furniture set goes for around N70,000 to N150,000, depending on the customer’s choice.

Victor pointed out that government has not done any substantial thing to remedy the situation, and despite the fact that the entrepreneurs pay between N3,000 and N5,000 yearly for a shop permit, he said they have not felt any positive impact from government.

Another furniture-maker, Mr. Michael Ademo corroborated Victor’s story, adding that they are constantly attacked by alligators and snakes which invade their workshops. Although no fatal casualty has been recorded so far, they urged the Lagos state government to come to their aid and build structures for them.

House-wife, Mrs. Veronica Ideh, said she is always afraid once the rains start, as her house which is built directly beside the river tends to get flooded up to the window level, damaging properties, while the dwellers all deal with the wild animals which the flood brings.

However, a fisherman, Mr. Francis Durojaiye had a different story to tell. He ironically was very ecstatic, adding that when the rains start, it means more aquatic animals to be caught, which in turn means more money for his business.

Efforts by THISDAY to speak to local government officials and local chiefs in the area concerning any remedial action for the flooding in Ikorodu proved abortive.