FEMA Warns Of Severe Flood

September 01 18:37 2020

Ngaha Faustina Danson Magagi

The FCT Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) has once again warned FCT residents to avoid flooded areas to avert the dangers of falling victims of flood. This warning is coming from the Agency even as the body of one Mr. Garba Joseph, 43 year old from Akoka-Edo of Edo State, has recently been recovered by FEMA’s Search and Rescue team after two days search from a flooded river around TradeMoore Estate, Lugbe, in Abuja

Saddened by the unfortunate incident, the Director General FEMA Alh. Idriss Abbas once again emphasised the need for residents to adhere to instructions and early warnings from relevant authorities, adding that attitudinal change is the key to reducing disasters to the barest minimum in the FCT.

Narrating the incident, an eye witness account (one of FEMA’s volunteer/vanguard Kenneth Chima) who captured the incident on video said “they were four men that tried walking through the water and I kept warning them to go back, three of them went back but only this man insisted on crossing, unfortunately the water overpowered him and washed him away” he said

Alh. Idriss decried the increasing rate of flood in the FCT which he attributed to residents’ apathy towards government’s directives and early warnings. This is also despite FEMA’s consistent sensitizations based on NIMET & NIHSA predictions of torrential rainfall and dangers of flooding.
The FEMA DG said NIHSA’s most recent predictions has warned of torrential rainfall and floodindings from August,2020 and that the Agency has been carrying out aggressive sensitization of residents to educate them on ways to prevent the impending flood. He said FEMA is conducting this exercise in five different indigenous languages in the FCT using different media channels.
“Furthermore, we recently organized a meeting with our Volunteers, Vangards and Divers from all the area Councils within the FCT to educate them on how they can sensitize their people on how to prevent disasters to minimize loss of lives and properties. We have embarked on community to community flood sensitization campaigns in the FCT and also mounted billboards at all the flood prone points warning off and cautioning residents from these danger areas.” The FEMA Boss asserted.

According to him “most of the deaths we have recorded in the past from flood in the FCT were as a result of non-compliance to instructions and early warnings. Alh.Idriss emphasized the Agency’s commitment to reducing disasters to a barest minimum in the FCT, and called on residents to complement the efforts of the FCT Administration by doing the needful.

FEMA boss advised residents not to underestimate the strength of water when it is flooded “what we are experiencing now is flash flood, the water builds up speedily and comes unnoticed hence very dangerous.” He explained.

Alh Idriss then appealed to residents to desist from unwholesome environmental practices especially indiscriminate waste disposal on water ways, building on flood plains, as these could block water ways and lead to flooding.He further called on community leaders, religious leaders to be charged with the responsibility of sensitizing their subjects, especially those who are living close to flood prone areas to move to higher grounds to avoid being washed away by flood water, adding 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

The FEMA Boss further urged residents and developers to always ensure they follow approved building plans and desist from manipulating the building plans to suit their own personal interest, in turn endangering their lives.
“Some of the houses affected by flood are Houses that their owners try to extend the fence of the house to the embankments of the rivers close to them, just to add a few meters to their originally approved plot” he said.
He called on developers to respect the Abuja Master plan and follow due process before embarking on any building project to avoid endangering lives and properties in the FCT, stressing that disaster management is a collective effort from Government and the Governed

The FEMA boss therefore urged all hands to be on deck and that residents should complement the efforts of the FCT Administration to reduce disasters to the barest minimum. He also advised residents to always call the 3 digits toll-free emergency number 112 for prompt response to any emergency.
While sympathizing with the family of the victim, Alh Idriss assured residents of the commitment of the FCT Administration in reducing disasters to the barest minimum, stressing that FEMA advocates prevention and mitigation rather than relief.
The body of the victim has since been laid to rest at Lugbe cemetery by his family.

In another development a combined team of FEMA, NEMA, The Nigeria Police, NCDC, and Spcial Force have successfully rescued the 3 trapped occupants a truck loaded with breverage products, that crashed into a residential building in Madala FCT , in the early hours of Saturday. The victims who sustained several degrees of injuries have since been taken to the Zuba General hospital for treatment.

Speaking in reaction to the incident, the DG FEMA, Alh. Idriss Abbas has called on motorist plying the roads to apply more caution by reducing speed when driving ,to avert more accidents as the roads have become logged with water and very slippery due to the persistent and heavy rain fallls in this rainy season.

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