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FEMA boss alerts residents on more flooding

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Cyril Mba, Abuja

As rainstorm continues to create extensive havoc in some communities in Abuja, the director general, Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Alhaji Abass Idris has warned residents to prepare themselves for more flooding predicted to hit Abuja before the end of November.

Idris disclosed that FEMA resolved to launch aggressive publicity campaign, starting September, to raise public awareness against harmful behavioural practices that lead to flooding, soil erosion and environmental degradation.
The agency director disclosed that local town criers, town hall meetings and radio stations will be used extensively to spread the campaign against the harmful effects of flooding and what can be done to prevent destructions to properties and danger posed to the lives of citizens.

He told newsmen soon after a town hall meeting organised by the agency in Gwagwalada that two area councils located within the flooding belt have been placed on high alert and emergency services activated to respond quickly to any urgent situation.
“We would use town criers, meetings and the radios to reach the people to educate them on the need for them to stop harmful practices like building on water routes, emptying their refuse on drainage channels during the rainy season in the hope that the refuse will be moved by the rushing water.

“People will also be educated on the need to buy refuse collection bins or bags and pour their trash into the bags for weekly collection. We will train the town criers and the village heads to enable them reach the people on our behalf as we cannot be everywhere.
“It is necessary also to appeal to farmers to avoid farming within dangerous flooding areas to prevent the temptation of being swept away by flooding while in the farm.”

He said the agency had started collaborating with some lawmakers to strengthen environmental protection legislation to outlaw deliberate actions by individuals that contribute to flooding and environmental degradation in the territory.
it will be recalled that some communities in Lugbe, along the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Road, Kubwa and Mpape experienced severe flooding which led to the death of three persons while several houses, cars and trees, among others, were swept away in some estates.

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