Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA on Friday made good its threat to clear structures obstructing water channels in the Dutse Makaranta area of the territory as it pulled down over 135 of such structures, including residential buildings and entertainment centres.
The area has been prone to flooding and the 2022 Flood Outlook painted a gloomy scenario for its residents.
Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Mr Attah Ikharo who led the demolition team said government had continued to serve notices on the affected residents and that while many of them had evacuated their belongings, there were few others who stayed put.
“We were here on Wednesday and commenced operations. We came back today to remove other structures along the flood plains.
“Like I said earlier, we thank God the rain fell last Sunday afternoon at about 1pm and 2pm when many had left the churches and schools were closed. The water got to the window levels but thank God the people had fled. The casualties here would have been extremely massive. The casualty figure would have been very alarming of the rain had fallen at night.
“Many of the men here told is that most of these areas used to be a football field, but somehow, somebody sold the football field to them to build structures and that is very painful and pathetic.
“We targeted pulling down over 100 buildings and structures but from what we have seen now, having entered inside the street, there could be week over 200 structures that may need to give way.
“From what we did on Wednesday and today, we have so far pulled down over 135 structures with many billed to still go down. The more we go in, the more we see extremely damp structures around the banana plantation. You see houses that are damp up to the roofing level and this is unacceptable. It is not safe and we won’t won’t for flood to occur before we take measures”, he stated.
A resident of the area who identified herself as Ngozi admitted that her drinking spot was located on a flood channel, saying she did not build permanent structures because she had foreseen the action of government.
“I foresaw this and so, I evacuated my belongings. On behalf of my colleagues and residents here, we are only asking for more time to relocate”, she stated.