Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, 2022 Annual Flood Outlook has put Gwagwalada and Abuja Municipal Area Councils on highly probable flood risk area councils in the nation’s capital.
The outlook which cut across all states of the federation has a total of 233 local government areas in 32 states and the FCT, which fall on the highly probable floodrisk areas, while 212 local government areas in 35 States of the federation and the FCT fall within the moderate probable flood risk areas.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Head Public Relations Unit of the FCT Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, Nkechi Isa in Abuja.
It states that to mitigate the impact of flooding, FEMA has put in place a number of measures, which include a high level and technical assessment of all flood prone and vulnerable areas in the FCT with a high level technical partner, the FCDA, Department of Development Control, Engineering Services, Facility maintenance and management department, Abuja Environmental protection Board, Urban and regiional planning among others to identify and remove all objects obstructing the free flow of water.
It explains that as part of measures to mitigate flooding in the FCT, the agency appeals to the area councils to strengthen their Local Emergency Management Committees to enable them respond to flood early warnings and carry out other mitigation strategies in their locality.
It says FEMA is intensifying efforts to convene an extended stakeholders conference of all professionals such as water and civil Engineering Department, Architects, Town planners, Builders and other relevant professionals involved in town planning, design and provision of engineering infrastructure to brainstorm on how to curb annual flooding.
According to the statement, FEMA will continue to strengthen and train local divers and equip them adequately to tackle any emergency in all the area councils.
“The problem is enforcement, we have the laws.Even if it means having a mobile court to stop the violations that could lead to loss of lives and property in all towns in the FCT will be appropriate”
The statement blames the recent incidents of flooding in the FCT on human activities like indiscriminate building on water ways, refuse dumping and removal and blocking of manholes which led to cloging of the drains which is supposed to channel water to discharge points.
“Since the end of last year’s raining season, FEMA has been carrying out impact assessment of the entire FCT and noticed some infrastructural gaps like inadequate box culverts and other infractions especially in Lokogoma and Galadimawa districts.
It therefore commends the FCDA for prompt replacement of some of the box culverts with River bridges “.
On farming this season, it urges farmers to desist from farming on flood plains and to always consult relevant agencies on the types of crops to plant and when to plant to avoid loss of crops, which could lead to food insecurity.
The statement appeals to residents to own up to their environment to ensure that nobody violates the masterplan by building on water ways, dumping of refuse or any activity that could hinder free flow of water.
By Georgina Humphrey