By Francisca Oluyole/ Vivian Emoni
Abuja, July 30, 2020 (NAN) Some residents of Gwagwalada Area Council, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Thursday called on the government to demolish houses built on waterways in the council to avoid perennial flooding.
The concerned resident made the call as a result of last Friday’s downpour that resulted in flooding leading to destruction of property and loss of lives.
Mr Kolade Akinsoju, a resident of Gwagwalada told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the impact of the rain which led to loss of lives and property would always be remembered.
Akinsoju said the cause of the flood was as a result the houses built on waterways without putting drainage system in place.
He said that the council had experienced similar occurrences in the past but not as serious as the recent flood.
“The flood that happened on Friday midnight till Saturday morning did not give signs that it will become a devastating one.
“That shows that the council will continue to experience this occurrence except government do the needful on time by removing houses built on waterways,” he said.
Mr Innocent Obiora, a resident of Giri village in Gwagwalada, said he narrowly escaped the flood which affected houses and property in his locality.
“The heavy sound of the rain woke me because I was so disturbed that it might remove my roof but it turned out to be flood that almost sub merged houses in my locality including mine.
“A woman and her four children were swept away as a result of the flood, we are scared now because more rains are coming in August and September.”
Mrs Akuchi Okpanachi, also a resident of Giri, said that the cause of the flood could also be related to indiscriminate dumping of refuse on drainages.
Okpanachi said that more awareness should be created on indiscriminate waste disposal and building of houses on water ways to avoid further devastation situation like the recent one in Gwagwalada.
Also residents of Karu, Jikwoyi and Orozo in the FCT called on FCT minister and other relevant stakeholders to urgently address regular flooding in the territory.
They told urged government to find lasting solution to the annual flooding that had been wreaking havoc to residents’ property and many lives lost.
Mr Felix Agu, a trader and resident of Karu in the FCT expressed worried over the high level of flood causing loss of lives and valuable property in the area.
“I am calling on government and other relevant stakeholders to address the challenge to avoid further damage.
‘’The Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders should join hands to address flooding in our area. Few months ago flood killed a young man around this Karu area.
“Also, a little boy of about seven to eight years was killed by flood recently and our farm land has been destroyed by flooding.
“I advised residents to always remain wherever they are whenever it is raining, they should wait until road is dry before they go out to avoid being submerged by flood.
“We really need government to rescue us from this trouble this year by constructing drainage system in our environment,’’ he said.
He urged government to sensitise the residents on the importance of building their houses according to environmental and building plan.
He also called on individuals to avoid illegal construction of building, calling on authorities to remove such building in the area, according to him, “all structures within flood plains should be remove’’.
Mrs Mercy Essien, a farmer in Jikwoyi area said that some of her farm land had been damaged by recent flooding, urging the government to channel the flood to irrigation system.
Essien, a widow with five children said that farming was only source of her livelihood and no support from anywhere.
She said that channeling the irrigation system would enable control the flooding as well as helping their crop to grow.
“My husband died six years ago and left me with five children, I don’t have any other support my; farm land was destroyed last year during the rainy season.
“This year, I am beginning to experience the same problem, with this COVID 19 lockdown, things are too difficult for me and my children, I am calling on urgent intervention by the government,’’ she said.
NAN reports that the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) in its Annual Forecast Outlook (AFO) predicted that about 102 local government areas in 28 states are at risk of flooding in 2020.
While Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET)`s Annual Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, (SRP) predicted that the onset of the growing season is expected to be near-normal, heavy rainfall may result in flooding.
It said it could disrupt traffic, delay construction activities and weaken or wash out the soil and culverts that support roads, tunnels and bridges.
NAN reports that the essence of the forecast was for the government at all levels, stakeholders and Nigerians at large prepare early against flooding, but they have failed to heed to the warning by the two agencies.