FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, says that the FCT Administration will continue to demolish structures built on waterways and flood plains to mitigate the impact of flooding in the federal capital.
He said this at a Community and Stakeholders Flood Mitigation Engagement Meeting organised by the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Monday, June 5, 2023, in Abuja.
According to Adesola, the measure is a life-saving one, which is meant to correct the alterations in violation of the FCT Master Plan.
He said that as a result of the flood incidents which occurred in different parts of the country in 2022, the meeting was a “stitch-in-time” measure to strategise on effective flood mitigation and response in the FCT.
According to him, among other measures, FEMA in collaboration with the FCDA has decided to temporarily barricade some of the roads in locations that are prone to flooding to avoid loss of lives in the territory.
The permanent secretary added that FCT residents must desist from violating planning permissions, as well as desist from buying lands from local chiefs or area councils.
“For those seeking for lands to develop, do not buy lands on waterways, confirm the status of the land from the land services department in the FCTA before you buy.
“The entire land in FCT is vested in the Federal Government, there are no local lands, when you buy from chiefs or area councils, you are likely to buy a problem land.
“Also, in disposing waste, we should be more disciplined. Do not throw your waste away anyhow, if we follow all these simple steps, it will make it possible for us to prevent flooding in the FCT,” he counselled.
On his part, Dr Abbas Idriss, Director-General, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said the synergy the agency built with various stakeholders in the FCT paid off, as no life was lost to flooding in 2022.
Idriss said that it was against this backdrop that the agency decided to convene the meeting to strengthen the synergy and advocate for more support from the permanent secretary.
“In furtherance of our zero-loss-of-life target in the FCT, FEMA is also finalising arrangements to strengthen its volunteer pool by establishing Disaster Marshals drawn from professional fields.
“These marshals will work with our community vanguards as first responders in their communities,” he said.
The FEMA boss called on the chairmen of the six area councils in the FCT to strengthen their Local Emergency Management Committees, saying that they remained critical in the country’s National Emergency Management Framework.
Also speaking, Mrs Florence Wenegieme, Director, Forecasting, Response and Mitigation, FEMA, said that stakeholders representing 43 different organisations were invited to be part of the meeting for a robust outcome.
She said that more efforts must be put in place by the stakeholders, to ensure that nobody loses his or her life to flooding in the FCT.
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had, earlier in the year, predicted that the magnitude of flood in 2023 would likely exceed that of 2022.
By Ruth Oketunde