The Director-General of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Alhaji Idriss Abbas, on Sunday warned residents of the FCT to avoid flooded areas to avert the dangers of becoming victims of flooding.
Alhaji Abbas, in a statement, said most of the deaths recorded in the past from flooding in the FCT were as a result of non-compliance to instructions and early warnings.
He also emphasized the need for residents to adhere strictly to instructions and early warnings from relevant authorities.
Abbas further revealed that the Search and Rescue team of the agency recently discovered the body of one Mr Garba Joseph, a 43-year-old from Akoka-Edo of Edo State, after two days search from a flooded river around TradeMoore Estate, Lugbe, in Abuja.
According to Abbas, “narrating the incident, an eyewitness account said one of FEMA’s volunteers, Kenneth Chima who captured the incident on video explained that they were four men that tried walking through the water. He said they were warned to go back, however, three of them went back but one man insisted on crossing, unfortunately, the water overpowered him and washed him away.
“We recently organized a meeting with our volunteers, vanguards and Divers from all the area Councils within the FCT to educate them on how they can sensitise their people on how to prevent disasters to minimize loss of lives and property. We also embarked on community-to-community flood sensitisation campaigns in the FCT and mounted billboards at all the flood prone points warning off and cautioning residents from these danger areas. What we are experiencing now is flash flood; the water builds up speedily and comes unnoticed, hence very dangerous.”
An eyewitness said that “the volume of water after the rains especially last Wednesday was unprecedented. And this is because of unchecked estate development upstream which is channeling water unto the same route without notice to people downstream. Government failure to regulate and manage water canals in the FCT. Indiscriminate dumping of refuse into the water in slums like Lugbe village.”
He also said that relevant authorities have been on their toes, evacuating refuse around the FCT, distilling drainages and expanding narrow water channels to enable free flow of water for a safer FCT.