Residents of Isheri community in Ogun State have accused the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority of turning the Oyan Dam installed with three turbines for the purpose of generating electricity and commissioned by President Shehu Shagari In 1983 to a fish pond, which has led to flooding in the area.
The Isheri community under the leadership of Mr Abayomi Akinde while briefing journalists on Tuesday, explained that due to the illegal activities of some fish ponds within the dam area, water that supposed to be released during the dry season are not allowed to flow away by the pond operators so as to preserve the fishes.
Akinde said the affected neighbourhoods were ready to refute a statement by the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority that their houses are located on flood plains sold to residents of Isheri by land grabbers.
Managing Director of OORBDA, Olufemi Odumosu, had in October said that due to the floods caused by yearly rains, they opened the dam on May 22, 2019 to create room for proper flood control.
He blamed the flooding of the Isheri area on the impact of global climate change, which had “resulted in exceptionally high and prolonged rainfall experience”.
But disagreeing with Odumosu’s position, the Isheri community said, “The late Chief S.O Fadahunsi in his book indicated that the initial design of Oyan Dam was to store water for supply to Abeokuta township and to the Lagos State Water Corporation and that the dam’s height was subsequently increased to its present 30.4m to accommodate water for irrigation and for incorporation of turbines for 9MW power generation.
“Fadahunsi’s son, Engr Tolu, held the position of MD at OORBDA in the 2000s at which time the communities remained flood free.
“So, there are people available who can testify that the Oyan Dam reservoir can be operated without causing flooding in Lagos and Ogun states.
“The management of OORBDA should inform the public how many surface water engineers it has in its employ that manages water release in line with scientific and technical standards of international best practices.
“We want to put it on record that Ogun and Lagos state governments sold and put us in possession of our land, we didn’t buy from land grabbers or speculators. OORBDA should stop its false narrative.”