Some residents of Benson Estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State have lamented how waste water from Ragolis Waters, a company that specialises in selling bottled spring water, has eroded a major road that leads to three other communities.
The road is one of the two roads that lead to Eyita, Agbala and NEPA in the area.
Some of the residents and traders, who spoke to Newsbreak, said the volume of waste water discharged by the company spills onto the road after it damaged the only available drainage.
Ayinde Ramota, a resident, said the company releases water daily, further destroying the road. She stated that the road has never been dry due to the continued discharge of water from the plant.
She added that motorcycles carrying passengers often skidded off the road, causing serious injuries to both rider and passenger.
Yusuf Adamu, a commercial motorcyclist, echoed Ramota, saying he had spent two years in the area and the bad road was a cause of frequent accidents.
He insisted that Ragolis be held responsible saying they released water in industrial quantity, thereby spoiling the road.
Ganiyu Adeniyi, a fashion designer, said the chemical in the waste water could be responsible for the damage to the drainage. He said shop owners in the area had fixed the drainage to alleviate their suffering but it had gone bad again.
“I’ve been here for the past five years and it has always been like this; both rainy and dry season. This is a major road. We the shop owners have on our own fixed the drainage many times, but we got tired of the situation. My biggest customers don’t come here anymore because of the road,” he complained.
Olajumoke Safiu, another resident, accused some landlords in the area of collecting bribes from the company. She said they had been quiet because their palms had been greased by the company.
“What I see about this issue is that some landlords have gone to the company to collect money. Look at this spot, it is not up to a year that we fixed it.
“Waste water from Ragolis has damaged this road and they are all quiet. You need to see how people, including pregnant women fall on commercial motorcycles on this road,” she said.
However, Tunde Afuwape, a landlord in the area, denied Olajumoke’s allegation. He said they had complained but Ragolis had been irresponsible concerning the road.
“They release their waste water every day. When we went to complain to them (Ragolis) about three years ago, they said someone was coming to check it. They later sent someone to come and patch the road they damaged.
“Look down the road, their water keeps flowing down that direction and weeds have grown at the centre of it. No vehicle can go towards that direction. The road is cut off.
“If we get broken blocks to fill portions Ragolis water has damaged, under three days, the water will wash everything away and damage the road more,” he claimed.
Ajisegun Malik, another landlord, echoed Afuwape. He added that they had also reported to the Local Government, which also did nothing.
For Imoleayo Benson, a grandson of the estate owner, mobilising youths to the company will solve the problem. He lamented that his car wash business was dying due to lack of patronage, which he blamed on the condition of the road.
“They should come and fix the road completely. If they send anyone here to patch it, we will all end in Police Station,” he threatened.
However, Lekan Kehinde, Human Resources and Admin Manager, Ragolis Waters, told Newsbreak that the company “totally fixed” the road about two years ago.
He claimed that the company now recycles its waste water since it rehabilitated the road.
“When the community informed us that our waste water was destroying the road, our deputy director and operations manager told me to dialogue with them. We asked them to bring a quotation for rehabilitation. When they did, we wanted to give them the money, but they rejected it. They asked us to fix it for them and we did.
“Before then, when the complaint was getting too much, we went there and fixed the road without even informing them. After everything, we called a consultant, who advised us to build a chamber where all the waste water will go, so that we can recycle and use in our gardens and rest rooms, which we did. Our waste water does not flow to their road anymore,” he said.
However, Lukman Abagun, the Community Development chairman, said Kehinde’s claims were false. He led a Newsbreak correspondent to the area the waste water was channeled into the drainage through the company’s fence.
“Look at this, where is this water coming from?
“I deliberately brought you here to show you that they are lying. It has been like this for a longtime. We stopped going to tell them about it because we are tired.
“Ragolis told us they pay tax to the government. We have gone to the Local Government about this but they have refused to do anything,” he said.
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