..CAUTIONS AGAINST INDISCRIMATE DUMPING OF REFUSE IN DRAINAGES, FARMING AND BUILDING ON WATERWAYS

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa has flagged off the 2019 assessment of flood prone areas in the Area Councils at Ashara-Wako in Kwali Area Council with a call on residents to desist from dumping refuse in drainage channels, farming on river banks and building on water ways.

Sir Ohaa who blamed the attitude of residents for the reoccurring flooding incidents in the FCT, particularly, condemned the activities of estate developers who deliberately contravene provisions of the master plan and build houses on flood plains and natural courses and channels of rivers.

Sir Ohaa warned residents against further violation of these laid down environmental and development laws in the FCT, saying that the FCTA will not relent oits plan to remove houses built on waterways.

He added that potential buyers or renters of properties in the FCT should always carry out due diligence and find out from the relevant authorities in the FCTA if the developers have met the masterplan requirements before taking possession of properties.

His words” “Find out from the relevant authorities in the FCTA if developers have met the masterplan requirements before building houses. This simple action could save lives and properties”.

The Permanent Secretary equally called on traditional rulers in the FCT and other stakeholders to support the various actions of government in this regard and also educate their subjects on the necessity of these actions.

He also appealed to the media to emphasize safety issues, especially human activities which increase vulnerability to flooding and other forms of disaster, as part of their corporate social responsibilities.

Speaking on the Gangara/Yaba road project in the Abaji and Kwali Area Councils, contracts of which has been awarded, Sir Ohaa assured that the FCT Administration will ensure that the project is completed on schedule.

Earlier in his remarks, the Director General, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Abbas Idriss, expressed delight that government’s intervention has restored the Walko-Ashara link bridge between Abaji and Kwali Area Council which hitherto was cut off by flooding. He urged the community leaders to take very seriously the flood preventive programmes introduced by government and ensure compliance with sensitization messages.

Abbass commended all the stakeholders, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), security agencies, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) as well members of the various communities for their flood risk prevention initiatives in the FCT.

He called for attitudinal change towards the environment, saying it is only by so doing that the dangers of flooding will be mitigated in the FCT.

“He said, “it is therefore the responsibility of community leaders to ensure compliance to sensitization messages, especially with regards to proper waste disposal and avoidance of building or farming on waterways, while parents should also advise their children against risky behaviours such as swimming during the raining season when the water level is high”, the DG said.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman, Kwali Area Council, Danladi Chiya, thanked the FCT Permanent Secretary for his immense support to the FCT Area Councils. He also appreciated FEMA for their quick intervention in the restoration of the Ashara-Walko bridge,linking Kwali and Abaji Area Councils which was destroyed by flood.

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