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Making Money In The Flood

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ElevateNews takes a look at the gains in the flood that has ravaged Lagos and Ogun States communities.

As manyresidents of Lagos and Ogun States are counting their losses due to theravaging flood that has persisted for weeks, some are counting their gains.

Those thatare counting their losses also include the Ikeja Electricity DistributionCompany whose equipment and infrastructure have been submerged inside theartificial lagoon along the long bridge on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

However, those who can swim and also paddle canoe have turned the present predicament to a money-making venture. Many of these swimmers live close to the river bank. They have canoes, which they use for fishing but that has since turned to a commercial transport vehicle.

In Arepo,Ishasi in Akute, Denro, Ganun in Magboro, Owode in Ikorodu area of Ogun andLagos States, the canoe paddlers are making money.

“I take N50to paddle a passenger to cross the water to the other side and on each trip, nofewer than eight passengers are put in the canoe,” one of the canoe operatorssaid.

This is a journey of about two minutes and in some areas, it takes 20 minutes. The cost of transportation is the same, N50. The flood has covered every footpath and become dangerous for residents to walk in it due to the dangerous reptiles that have come with the water.

“In the last three weeks, I have made good money. In two hours, especially in the morning when people are leaving for work, I make as much as N4000,” Samson Ogunrinde, a canoe operator said.

Reluctantly another canoe operator who identified himself as Tunde said that he made as much good money but he refused to disclose how much he makes per day or in hours. “We are doing our own business. Don’t put us inside paper. We do not force anybody to enter the canoe,” he said.

This is how the swimmer have been making their money in the last few weeks of flood and it is not limited to the use of canoe, there are some ablebodied men who have stationed themselves in the flood to carry a willing resident that is scared of boarding the canoe.

They liftthe resident, mostly ladies on their shoulders to navigate the dirty water tothe dry land. “There is always too many people in the canoe. A well-dressed manfell off the canoe yesterday. He had to go back home. I cannot board the canoe.I prefer being lifted to boarding the canoe. It is N50,” a resident, BukolaKoyi said.

Interestingly, the flood has also increased the profits of fishermen. They catch more catfishes and for youths living close to the water, there are enough snails for them to pick. At a place called Oke-Ayo in Magboro, some youths carried a big sack containing snails.

They emerged from the flooded bush with the bags. “We have our customers. These snails are not for sale here. We have been contracted by fast-food restaurants and hotels,” they echoed.

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