By Stanley Onyekwere
To mitigate loss of lives and property to the rampaging flooding situations in Abuja, the nation’s capital, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has called on residents to avoid flashpoints during heavy downpour.
The agency revealed that efforts are on to intensify its advocacy on the danger of flood plain zones in the Territory, even as some notorious routes will be blocked temporarily to avoid further casualties.
This call was against the backdrop of deadly flash flood, following heavy downpour in Galadimawa area of the territory that led to death of Director of Finance, FCT High Court, Mr. Tony Okecheme.
According to the Director General of FEMA, Alhaj. Abbas Idriss, that the agency has mapped out some precautionary measures, such as blocking some routes that lead to flashpoint areas within the city center.
“We are mapping out strategies to avoid further waste of lives and properties within flood plain areas. And one of such strategies is to temporarily block some of the roads that lead to these flashpoints in Galadimawa, Lokogoma and possibly Area 1 Roundabout.
“We are taking this measure because some motorists underestimate the strength of water and the danger it poses.
“To us as agency saddled with the responsibility of saving lives and properties, the temporary closure of such identified routes has become paramount because it is better to travel longer distance and get to your destinations in safe condition than to take shortcut that will eventually leads you to death.
“We are just appealing to residents of the territory especially motorists to understand with us since the blockage will be for a short period of time as other relevant agencies are coming up with permanent solutions to resolve the perennial flooding problems in the territory,” he stressed.
Idriss, who commiserated with the family of last week flood victim also called on residents to call the emergency toll free number 112 during emergency situation, just as he assured that the rescue team is working round the clock aimed at saving lives and property.
Furthermore, the FEMA boss revealed that plans have been concluded to organize emergency stakeholder’s forum on flood mitigation and response coordination in the FCT this week.
He said the stakeholders forum which will be declared open by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Christian Ohaa, is aimed at addressing challenges of main courses of consistent flooding in the territory as well as proving durable solutions to the menace.
Idriss expressed concern that though FCT is not on the list of flashpoint states, but recent development has called for urgent solutions, while calling on residents to stop duping of refuse on drainages.