June 24, 2024

Flooding: FEMD denies resident’s death claims in Abuja’s early Monday rain

Flooding season safety 10 wYs

By Omeiza Ajayi

The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Department FEMD has said it could not confirm any death in Monday’s flash floods which hit the Trademore Estate in Lugbe, Abuja.

Two people had been feared dead following Monday morning’s downpour which caused heavy flooding at the Trademore Estate in Lugbe, along the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Road.

The department said its officials went to the area and interviewed some residents who denied knowledge of any death.

The estate which had been perennially affected by flooding is home to several civil servants and other category of people.

A resident of the area who made a video of the flood, could be heard calling on the Federal Government and the Federal Capital Territory FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike for help.

She said two people had been swept away by the flood.

But FEMD Spokeswoman, Nkechi Isa in a statement said the Ag. Director General of the department, Mrs Florence Dawon Wenegieme after an assessment of affected areas at Trademore declared that no life was lost.

Wenegieme said; “We did not receive any distress call from Trademore. We saw the viral video and we went there to carry out an assessment.We interviewed some residents and they confirmed that no life was lost to the floods. 

“We activated NEMA, FCT Fire Service, Department of Development Control and Department of Engineering Services”.

According to Wenegieme, the houses submerged by the floods were the 116 structures marked for demolition in 2023 when the estate was declared a disaster zone.

She stated that FCTA was prevented from removing the structures by a court injunction instituted by the Association of Residents of Trademore.

The Acting DG lamented that a primary school with about 500 pupils, management and staff is also sitting on the water channel, describing it as a disaster waiting to happen.

She also informed that structures earlier demolished by the Department of Development Control were being rebuilt or renovated by the owners, appealing to residents in houses marked for demolition at to relocate.

The FEMD boss also advised the owner of Trademore to provide all needed infrastructure to avert a reoccurrence of flash floods that may lead to loss of lives at the estate.

The FCT Administration had since 2022 made several attempts to demolish parts of the estate said to be on a flood plain but a court case instituted by residents against it, halted the exercise.

Vanguard recalls that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency NiMet had on Sunday predicted thunderstorms and hazy weather conditions from Sunday to Tuesday in some parts of the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook indicated morning thunderstorms over the central states in places like Plateau, Nasarawa, the Federal Capital Territory, Benue and Niger states.

Also later in the day, there are prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa and the Federal Capital Territory.

In its reaction to the prediction, the FCT Emergency Management Department FEMD, said it has placed its Flood Vanguards and local emergency management committees in the six Area Councils on alert following warnings of possible flooding in the Territory.

A statement by Head, Public Affairs of the Department, Nkechi Isa said; “The FCT Emergency Management Department FEMD, has placed its vanguards and the local emergency management committees in the six area councils on alert following early warnings of possible flooding in the Territory.

“A weather outlook issued by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency NiMet and made available to FEMD says isolated thunderstorms are likely today over parts of the FCT, Nasarawa,Kogi,Benue and Plateau.

“NiMet advises that strong winds may precede the rains in areas where the thunderstorm are likely to occur and urged the public to take adequate precaution.

“NiMet also predicts similar weather conditions for Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th June 2024.

“Meanwhile, the National Flood Early Warning System FEWS Center of the Federal Ministry of Environment has predicted that locations in 15 states are likely to witness heavy rainfall that may lead to flooding between today and tomorrow.

“States like Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger and Kaduna are among States expected to experience heavy flooding. However, the FCT may not experience flooding.

“In a reaction to the early warning on neighbouring States, the Ag. Director General of FEMD, Mrs Florence Dawon Wenegieme said the Department has put in place mitigation measures around the City.

“Mrs Wenegieme informed that the Search and Rescue Team are on the alert, while local divers have been posted to vulnerable locations.

“The Ag DG appealed to residents to always use the 112 emergency toll free number in the event of an emergency”.