The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has warned motorists against driving on running water to avoid endangering their lives as the rainy season is approaching.
The Director-General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja.
Idriss said the advice became necessary because in 2020, two persons were taken away by running water and they eventually died.
“We lost seven lives to flooding in 2020, five were from the same family at Geri in Gwagwalada Area Council and two were taken away by running water.
“We keep insisting and that is why you will see signposts in strategic places by FEMA in Abuja, telling motorists to avoid driving or walk inside running water because running water can kill faster than anything you can think of.
“No matter how big your car is, two inches’ water can swallow your car. We advise that people should not drive into running water during the rainy season.
Idriss, however, cautioned FCT residents against indiscriminate waste disposal, adding that assessment conducted by FEMA revealed that all flooding in Abuja were human-induced.
“We have witnessed lots of flooding in the FCT in 2020 but all the flooding according to our assessment were human induced flooding, that means we have a lot to do to prevent it if it is human induced flooding.
“The population of the FCT is getting much higher than the resources and the available facilities on ground to handle such emergencies.
“Wastes are always generated and it is expected that the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) will evacuate them.
“So we have a lot to do with the residents of FCT; all hands must be on deck to ensure that we do the right thing to avoid avoidable floods,” he said.
FEMA boss said that AEPB, Department of Development Control, the Satellite Towns Development Department and all stakeholders had huge roles to play in preventing flood in the territory.
He said that the response or activities of FEMA would always start where these agencies were able to meet up their responsibilities.
“It is only at the point of emergency that FEMA is invited and by the time we come, you will find out that there are infractions, shortcoming and violations here and then.
“We have to leverage on the resources of our stakeholders to be able to do what is expected of us, saving lives and property,” Idriss said. (NAN)