By Salisu Sani-Idris
FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Sunday advised residents of the Federal Capital Territory to avoid Flood flash points during downpour.
The Director-General of the agency, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, gave the advice during interactive session with newsmen in Abuja.
Idriss said the advise became necessary following recent floods in Galadimawa area, which led to the death of Director of Finance, FCT High Court, Mr Tony Okecheme.
He said the agency would scale-up its advocacy on the dangers of flood in prone areas, adding that the FEMA had temporarily blocked some routes leading to affected points in the city center.
“We are mapping out strategies to avoid further waste of lives and properties in flood prone areas. One of such strategies is to temporarily block some of the roads that lead to the affected areas in Galadimawa, Lokogoma and possibly Area 1 Roundabout.
“We are taking this measure because some motorists underestimate the strength of water and the danger it poses.
“To us, as agency saddled with the responsibility of saving lives and properties, the temporary closure of the identified routes has become paramount because it is better to travel longer distance and get to your destinations in safe condition than to take shortcut that will eventually leads you to death.
“We appeal to residents of the territory, especially motorists, to understand with us since the blockage will be for a short period as other relevant agencies are coming up with permanent solutions to resolve the perennial flooding problems.”
He commiserated with the families of the victims of the disaster and called on residents to call the toll free number, 112, during emergency situation.
He said the the agency was working round the clock to save lives and property, adding that plans had been concluded for an emergency stakeholder’s forum on flood mitigation and response coordination in the territory.
He said the forum, to be declared open by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Christian Ohaa, would address challenges and causes of consistent flood in the territory.
Idriss said FCT was not on the list of flood flash point states, but recent experiences had shown the need to brace to the challenge .
He urged residents of the area to stop dumping refuse in drainage and waterways. (NAN)