By Sarah NEGEDU
Goods and properties worth over N1.264 billion were saved from complete destruction in the different fire outbreaks experienced across some markets in the Federal Capital Territory, between January and December 2021.
Reports from the FCT Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, also states that a total of 3715 persons were saved in several rescue operations within the same period.
Director General of FEMA, Abbas Idriss, who made the disclosures in a chat with newsmen, said major disasters that occurred in 2021 in the FCT included flooding, market fires and building collapse.
Idriss, disclosed that 2,025 lives were saved from flooding in the FCT, with the highest figure of 802, coming from the Trademore Estate flood incident in Lugbe, while 5 lives were lost to flooding in the area.
He added that FEMA rescued 1444 persons from various fire rescue operations including, the Ebeano Super Market fire where 74 persons were rescued, the Kugbo furniture market with 102 lives saved and 300 lives from the Gwarimpa old tipper garage fire.
According to him, the Agency recovered 26 vehicles during the rescue operations while,183 houses were submerged during the period under review.
He revealed that the Agency recorded an increase in the use of its112 toll-free emergency number, as it received 173 distress calls in 2021, as against 153 in 2020.
“Between January and December 2021, FEMA responded to 173 distress calls. These calls covered response to flood disasters, fire incidents, collapsed buildings, drowning, gas explosion etc.
“A total number of 3715 lives were saved in various rescue operations within the period under review;
57 persons were however fatally injured during these disasters.
“Other rescue operations attended to in 2021 included incidents of collapsed buildings, where we were able to rescue 17 persons; we however lost 2 lives.
“Drowning incidents claimed one life while we rescued 7 persons from various rivers. We recorded 2 incidents of gas explosion, thankfully no lives were lost. We also lost 7 lives to Military Air crash.
“The Agency salvaged an estimated goods and properties worth over 1.264 billion naira from market fire outbreaks last year.
“We believe in proactive measures to mitigate disasters; hence we undertook hazard mapping of the FCT, vulnerability assessment as well as deployment of technology in our operations. These greatly enhanced our performance in 2021,” the FEMA boss stated.