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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Trademore flooding: Govt plans holistic approach to menace, declares estate disaster area

The Permanent Secretary, Ecological Project Office (EPO), Mr Shehu Ibrahim, says the Federal Government is planning a holistic approach to end the flooding menace in the Trademore Mega-City Estate and its environs.

The flooded Abuja estate

Ibrahim said this in a statement issued sequel to the on-the-spot assessment tour of the flood-ravaged Abuja estate and its environs.

The statement, signed by Mrs Eno Olotu and issued to newsmen on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, quoted Ibrahim as saying that the tour was to enable EPO to put up a comprehensive report for government’s further action.

The incident occurred on Friday and left the estate located along Airport Road badly hit.

Ibrahim decried the level of devastation caused by the flood, adding that the problem was beyond the capacity of one agency of government.

He said the challenge required collaboration with sister agencies to come up with a comprehensive plan of intervention.

“From our own assessment two factors are responsible for the flood – human and natural factors.

“It is something that will go beyond one agency, so we are looking at areas we need to come in and intervene and will liaise with other sister government agencies.

“Agencies like the Federal Capital Development Agency (FCDA), Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Federal Ministry of Environment must work together.

“We must come up with a comprehensive plan to see how we can address this issue and avoid a future occurrence,” he said.

Ibrahim, who said the natural factor resulted from raining season, blamed the human factor on compromise by the developers as well as indiscriminate dumping of refuse on waterways by residents.

He advised on crucial and proper sensitisation on change of attitude.

“The assessment tour is part of the Federal Government’s proactive efforts to hasten the provision of a lasting solution to flooding in the area.

“Government will do its best to intervene on ecological issues and also send officers to go round to assess other areas affected.

“Government cannot sit down and allow things like this to happen,” lbrahim said.

Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has declared Trademore Estate, located at Lugbe area of the FCT, Abuja, a disaster area, following a flood that left the area in ruin on June  23.

The Permanent Secretary of the FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, made the declaration on Tuesday during an assessment visit to the area.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has said that more than 116 houses were submerged at the estate following a heavy downpour.

“Having seen the extent of the flooding, we hereby declare the Trademore area a disaster zone that needs immediate action to remedy further damages and loss of lives and properties.

“This is part of steps to address the incessant flooding at the Trademore Estate.

“I want to assure residents that adequate steps will be taken to forestall further damages to properties and loss of lives to flooding at the Estate.”

Adesola disclosed that a Taskforce on Flood Mitigation in the FCT, comprised of heads of relevant agencies of the FCT, would assess the situation and make recommendations for remedial actions.

“The Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) who chairs the taskforce on flood mitigation in the FCT is here.

“The Commissioner of Police and other officials of the FCT, particularly FEMA, Development Control and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board are all here.

“They saw what we saw, and they are now ready to go and evolve solutions that will immediately address the situation,” he said.

Adesola, who expressed shock at the level of flooding at the estate, also decried development activities in flood prone areas with serious consequences to lives and properties.

The Permanent Secretary also expressed sadness at the return of people to the affected properties, few days after the flooding disaster, in spite of the dangers of imminent future incidents.

He vowed that the FCT Administration would not allow the situation to continue.

“We were quite amazed at the level of flooding that occurred at Trademore. More particularly is the risk that people took to build on such a low-level plain.

“While on the road, you will see that even the roof of some of the houses are below the road level, which ab initio made them vulnerable to flooding,” he said.

He assured residents that the FCT Administration would do everything possible within its powers to contain the ugly situation.

He reminded residents of NiMet predictions for more heavy rains.

“This means that damages and casualties are imminent, and we have to prevent this,” he said.

Adesola was accompanied by the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Mr Shehu Hadi; Director Development Control, Mr Mukhtar Galadima; FCT Commissioner of Police, Garba Haruna; and other senior officials of the FCTA.

By  Felicia Imohimi and Philip Yatai

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