By Stanley Onyekwere
Residents of Abuja, the nation’s capital city have been alerted on high prospect of imminent severe flooding within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), especially the riverine parts of the city.
This warning, which was issued at the weekend by the FCT Emergency management Agency (FEMA), following the deluge of rainfall and repeated flooding being witnessed around the Abuja, and different parts of the country.
A statement from FEMA’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ngaha Faustina, which made available to PeoplesDaily warned that the intransigent river flooding which will be coming from about 9 countries, could affect some neighbouring states of the Rivers Niger and Benue to discharge at Lokoja, Kogi State.
In the statement, the Director General (FEMA) Alh. Abbas Idriss, said though FCT is not on the red alert, but could be at the risk of heavier flooding because of its closeness to neighbouring red line states.
Idriss called on residents living around the riverine and flood prone areas of the FCT to move to higher grounds, clear their water channels and drainages, avoid dumping refuse on water ways and avoid walking or driving through flooded water to keep safe.
“As we speak, about nine rivers in nine countries are discharging their contents from their rivers which will eventually flows into River Niger and settles at Lokoja”. The FEMA boss alerted.
“What we are about to witness from now on is ‘river flooding’ and this is going to be heavier and more forceful than the flash flood we experienced earlier”, the FEMA DG warned.
He however appealed to FCT residents to desist from activities that could lead to flooding in this part of the peak season, stressing that the FCT Administration cannot afford to lose more lives resulting from the reckless behaviour of those who refuse to adhere to early warnings from relevant authorities.
The FEMA Boss reiterated the need for residents to take personal responsibility of the safety of their environment, adding that “Disaster Management is an all-inclusive effort from both the Government and the Governed”.
He assured residents of the Agency’s efforts to work with all the relevant stakeholders to mitigate any possible effect of flooding in the FCT, adding that the Agency has strengthened its volunteers/Vanguards) in all the Area councils to sensitize their people, to drive the message home, in the bid to minimize loss of lives and properties.
“FEMA has also mounted reflective billboards at various flood prone points warning off and cautioning residents from these danger areas.
“Flood can catch up with anybody, anywhere, sighting example with the victim of Trademoore Estate Lugbe who was just visitor in the Estate but was swept off by flood water.
“It is to be recalled that FEMA has been unrelenting in sensitizing FCT residents on appropriate safety measures following earlier NIMET and NIHSA prediction of torrential rain fall this season,” the statement added.