The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has kick started the 2019 assessment tour of flood-prone area councils.
The Director General of FEMA, Abbas G. Idris, stated that 13 lives were lost to flooding in the Federal Capital Territory in 3 years.
“From our statistics, five lives were lost to flood in year 2017 in FCT. In 2018, seven lives were lost out of which two were children that got drowned while attempting to swim in a river. So far in 2019, one life has been lost to flood incident,” he said.
While speaking at the flagging off of the tour, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Christian Ohaa, said that sanitary inspectors in the six area councils have been empowered to carry out their jobs.
“Unfortunately, flooding has become a recurring incident in some of our communities, even in normal rainfall seasons. This is largely due to human influences especially the persistent attitude of residents dumping refuse in drainage system, farming activities by river banks and building on water ways which are violations of laid down environmental laws.
“Years ago, the presence of local sanitary inspectors popularly known as ‘Duran gari’ in Hausa was enough to guarantee proper sanitation and good hygiene in communities; and cases of flooding were uncommon unlike today. Pro ably this was because of the monetary penalties and other consequences of non- compliance imposed on offenders.
“Given the positive impact of Sanitary Inspectors on the environment, the Federal Capital Territory Administration will strengthen their operations across communities six Area Councils in order to enforce strict compliance to issues of sanitation and the land use Act,” he said.
He attributed the flooding in Abuja to residents dumping of refuse indiscriminately, explaining that most of the refuse not dumped properly clog the waterways.
Ohaa lauded FEMA for ensuring the safety of lives and property of Abuja residents through its safety programmes and projects.