The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has once again issued a high alert on the prospect of severe flood within the FCT, especially the riverine parts of the city.
The Director-General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, issued the alert in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Idriss said the red alert became necessary following rainfall and repeated floods being witnessed in different parts of the country and around the FCT.
Idriss said though FCT was not on the red alert, but could be at the risk of heavier flooding because of its closeness to neighbouring red line States.
He assured that the agency was prepared to handle any eventuality that may arise.
“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,” he said.
Idriss, who described flooding in the FCT as human-induced, appealed to FCT residents to desist from activities that could lead to flooding during the peak season.
The FEMA boss stressed 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.
He 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.
Idriss also enjoined the residents to avoid dumping refuse on waterways and avoid walking or driving through flooded water to keep safe.
“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,” he warned.
The FEMA boss emphasised that the FCT administration had been on its toes doing the needful to ensure safety in and around the FCT.
Idriss, therefore, stressed the need for residents to take personal responsibility of the safety of their environment, saying ” 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.
The DG said that the agency had strengthened its Ambassadors (FEMA volunteers/Vanguards) in all the area councils to be able to sensitise their people using town criers and other indigenous means of communication.
” This will enable them to drive the message home, in the bid to minimise loss of lives and properties.”
He added that FEMA had also mounted reflective billboards at various flood prone points warning off and cautioning residents from these danger areas.
Idriss challenged religious leaders, community heads and well-meaning Nigerians in authority to take responsibility of the public education and sensitisation of people around them.
” Especially those living close to flood-prone areas to move to higher grounds for safety and to always call the national toll-free emergency number 112 for the prompt response of any emergency.”, he said.
He said flood could catch up with anybody, anywhere, citing the example of the victim of Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, a visitor in the Estate that was swept off by floodwater.
Idriss said FEMA had been unrelenting in sensitising FCT residents on appropriate safety measures following earlier NIMET and NIHSA prediction of torrential rainfall this season.
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