Some residents of many estates in Pyakasa, a satellite town in the FCT, have called for immediate intervention to prevent further disasters from constant flood occurrences in the area.
The residents who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday said there was need for the FCT Administration (FCTA) to step in to tackle the problem.
They believed that the river flooding in the area was caused by indiscriminate development of structures on the natural waterway that flowed through the area.
A NAN reporter who visited the area, observed that many estates like; Goshen Villa, Diamond City Luxury and Royale, Angel Martins and Redeemers, all relied on the same access road and bridge, which was usually flooded whenever it rained.
An anonymous correspondence testified that he narrowly escaped death due to the flood, though his vehicle loaded with bread which he was delivering to customers was not spared by the flood.
A business woman and mother of four, Saratu Iliya, expressed huge concerns about the potential danger that the flood could bring to the residents, if not addressed.
Iliya said she was trapped for six hours during the heavy rainfall that occurred, leading to a delay in picking up her children from school.
“Sometimes when it rained, we have to wait until the water receded before we could get to our homes, many of us would be stranded and frustrated on the road, our kids would be hungry.
“We want the FCT administration to come to our aid in this Pyakasa axis, we are losing our property, all our homes may soon be cut off from the impact of severe flooding”.
For Mr Johnson Achimugu, a civil servant, many estates along that axis had the main road flooded, whenever it rained, thereby preventing residents from gaining access to their homes.
He said many people had built houses indiscriminately on waterways, without recourse to the original plan of the estate developers and the FCT Administration.
“The cause of the recent river flooding in the area is largely due to the development of residential building on the natural waterway that flows through some of the estates in the area.
“It is the same water channel that flows all through to Trademore Estate, that recently experienced flooding that led to loss of lives and properties.
“We are calling on the FCTA to immediately swift into action to save lives and property”.
Another resident, Dr John Akinsete, said there was need for relevant authorities to urgently address the man-made issue, by ensuring that there is enough room for rainwater to flow freely.
According to him, the FCTA has the responsibility to arrest and prosecute some of its officials who compromise building standards and approve structures sited in flood-prone areas.
“It is worrisome that we continue to see the erection of houses and estates in flood channels within the FCT, without the connivance of some government officials, the estate owners cannot successfully complete their structures.
“If the issue is not addressed quickly, I am concerned that lives might be lost, in addition to significant negative economic, environmental and social impacts”.
NAN recalls that the Federal Government while presenting the Global Rapid (Post Disaster) Damage Estimation (GRADE) Assessment Report of the 2022 flood situation in Nigeria, said an estimated economic loss of $6.68 billion was incurred by the FCT and the 36 states.
The losses include damages to residential and non-residential buildings, as well as damages to infrastructure, productive sectors and to farmlands.
Though Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims that no life was lost in the last Trademore flooding, Premium Times’ report on June 24, 2023 states clearly that a corpse was recovered from the canal by the entrance of the estate.