Mrs Rafat Bello travels daily by boat from her base in Totowu (Igbesa LCDA, Ogun State) to Igando-Egan, a suburban community in Lagos. It’s not convenient or safe for the hundreds who use the route back and forth, but it is about the only option the residents have.
“The way we cross the water is very risky in so many ways,” she told The Daily Report on a rainy day in Late July. “All we need the government to do is to help build a bridge that connects Totowu to Egan community on the other end. If this is done, it will make our lives easier and businesses will flourish.”
She said that with the bridge in place, she would not have a need to travel to Lagos often because the market in Totowu would be bustling with buying and selling.
“The market is down now. Not only that, many people who have land here are afraid to cross over to develop them because of the fear of drowning,” Bello said, just after alighting from the boat, which takes 16 passengers on average per trip. “After that, they can help us to build a health centre. We need a health centre — that is what will let the town pick up.”
Other residents we spoke with complain also of bad roads, a lack of electricity and insufficient public schools for the community’s children. “It’s so bad that many of our people leave for Lagos and stay there all week, and return on weekends to be able to cope,” says Rahamat Ibrahim, who has lived in Totowu for 10 years.”