By Stanley Onyekwere
As the rainy season sets in, the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has charged residents to prepare for the rains, and avoid environmental practices that could lead to flooding in the FCT.
The Agency particularly appealed to residents to desist from acts such as indiscriminate waste disposal into water channels and rivers, building on water ways and river banks as well as diverting water channels, to prevent flood disaster.
Making this point recently, Alh Abass ldriss, Director General FEMA noted that preparedness and sensitization remains the key toward reducing disaster to the barest minimum in the FCT.
ldriss said FEMA does not rest at the end of any rainy season but always brings it’s stakeholders together to review and take stock of cause of events, identify gaps and proffer solution for the relevant stakeholders to swing into actions.
He revealed that NIMET has predicted that the Northern part of country should expect rains from May and June this year, while the coastal areas expects rain from 1st of March, but that the rains will not last longer in the year.
However, the FEMA boss noted that while waiting for Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency detailed outlook on floods for this rainy season, it is important for residents to join hands and complement the efforts of the FCT Administration to prevent flood disasters in the FCT this rainy season, as residents have vital role to play as major stake holders in Emergency prevention and mitigation.
He equally advised them to always clear their drainages, ensure proper disposal of refuse, avoid building on flood plains and river banks, driving or walking on running waters.
“Everyone is a stakeholder in this disaster prevention efforts and FEMA has created a high level awareness amongst FCT residents, through several media platforms to established the consciousness of disaster prevention and mitigation rather than management.
“This yields better result, because community participation by residents in disaster management will bring about greater results.
“Residents will notice lots of clearing around the city since the last rainy season, removal of illegal structures, desilting of drainages. expansion of narrow drainages removal of waste from dump sites as well as removal of any obstructed thing that could block water from flowing well. This shows that the FCT Administration is living no stones unturned to ensure no live is lost to flooding this rainy season but residents also have a role to play.
“If you follow the trend of our response, you will discover that some of the flood issues of 2019 did not reoccur in the same locations, except new ones that came up in different locations. Such locations like Area one and Lokogoma flood issues were taken care of after identifying the obstacles.
“We also mounted reflective flood warning sign posts at the flash points to sensitive and warn residents from driving or walking into a running water. some Our monitoring personnel at all locations are surveiling the city for monitoring and reporting situations in and around their areas and report feedbacks from the residents”, he stressed.
He also advised Argicultural and Extension Officers to sensitize farmers on this and provide for them crops that are suitable for the season to avert food insecurity which could also result to serious disaster.
He also commended FEMA trained Vanguards, Volunteers and Local Divers who proactively respond to emergencies, adding that with their help and that of the traditional rulers, FEMA has been able to sensitize the rural communities and reduced severity of disasters tremendously in the FCT.
He adds: “This year, we have devised another means of reaching out to the communities – through the recently lunched FCTA Citizens Participation Portal for quicker reach out and prompt response”.
He therefore appealed to all residents that are in distress to call the Toll Free Emergency Number 112 to report any emergency for a quick and prompt response.