FEMA warns FCT residents against driving, walking through flood water

By Philip Yatai

 The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has warned residents against driving or walking through flood water to prevent avoidable death.

Mrs Florence Wenegieme, Director, Forecasting Response and Mitigation, FEMA, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

Wenegieme, while reacting to the demise of a 31-year-old motorcyclist from flooding in Abuja on Friday, appealed to residents to listen to FEMA’s warnings to save their lives from untimely and preventable death.

NAN reports that the deceased, identified as Yakubu Lucky, after a heavy downpour on Friday, defied warnings from the local divers stationed at Dogon Gada in Lokogoma District of the FCT by FEMA, drove into a pool of water and drowned.

She said that the sad incident was avoidable; stressing that FEMA barricaded the road to stop people from going in and out of the community whenever the road was flooded.

“We have our local divers and vanguards stationed there to stop people.

“We have also mounted billboards at that particular location and other vulnerable areas, warning residents not to drive or walk in running water.

“But people pay deaf ears to our warnings; resulting in preventable deaths.

“In Lucky’s case, because he was on a motorcycle and assumed he knew the road very well;  he navigated through the barricade and into the pool of flooding water, leading to his untimely death.”

The director said that FEMA had been carrying out massive sensitisation campaigns throughout the year to enlighten residents on how to stay safe during flooding and other emergencies.

She expressed concern that despite several awareness campaigns in communities, some residents still ignored FEMA’s warnings against going through flood water.

“We will continue to sensitise residents against any action that will risk their lives during disaster or any kind of emergency.

“But while we do our part; we are appealing to the residents to cooperate with us; heed to our advice and warnings to keep them safe.

“Our trained local divers, volunteers, vanguards and emergency marshalls are in every community to ensure time response to emergency situations.

“They are also in the communities to advise and caution residents during emergencies.

“Please listen to them and do what they asked you to do to keep everyone safe,” she said. (NAN)