FCT flood disaster may worsen if...
Since the recent upgrade of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, as one of the red alert states by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMET, palpable fear has gripped some residents over possible flooding if all the relevant agencies do not wake-up to their responsibilities.
The Abuja Inquirer learnt that shortly after NiMET's upgrade, the nation's capital was hit by flood in Karshi and Mpape that claimed three lives and property worth millions of naira destroyed.
Though, some agencies that spoke to our correspondents expressed preparedness to prevent or mitigate any future flood disaster in the territory, but report available shows that human and environmental factors may pose serious danger to residents of the Territory.
The agency in charge of disaster management in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, said the administration has put a lot of measures aimed at preventing and mitigating flood disaster during and after the rainy season.
Director General of FEMA, Alhaji Iddris Abass, told one of our correspondents that since last year, with the Dei-Dei and Lokogoma experience, the agency has mapped out strategies including collaboration with other relevant agencies to tackle flooding in the territory.
"As a matter of fact, the mandate of the agency is to prevent, control and mitigate disaster in the Federal Capital Territory. It is not our responsibility to build bridges and construct drainage as is believed in some quarters.
"Last year, after the painful tragedy of Dei-Dei and Lokogoma, the agency submitted its report to authorities and I 'm happy to inform you that the administration is seriously working on our report. However, the agency has scaled up its collaboration with relevant agency and advocacy in communities that are flood prone.
"We have to do this because recently, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency has upgraded FCT to one of the red alert states. And we saw what happened in Karshi and Mpape not too long ago. Therefore, all agencies have to work as a team to avert flood disaster in the territory," Abass stated.
According to him, residents have a role to play by not dumping refuse in drainages and unauthorised places that could lead to drains being blocked.
Speaking on what they were doing to address the issue, the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, explained that though it was constrained by funding, it was doing its best mitigate the threat.
Supervisory Councillor for Health, Murtala Usman Karishi, said the AMAC evacuate refuse regularly but with population explosion, it was difficult to keep pace with the clearing.
He dismissed claims that the council has a dumpsite by a major canal in Karu, he said it was a collection point which is regularly cleared.
However, some residents have accused the authorities of doing little on the issue of refuse disposal as well as non-existent drainages in the satellite towns.
A Karu resident, Bassey Akpan, said AMAC presence is hardly felt in the region other than to disturb residents with rates collection.
“How many drainages can you see in Karu? Imagine having a dumpsite near a major canal by AMAC. I just hope they wake up before another flooding happens.”