By: Prudence Okonna
Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has blocked the slip road along Games Village before the Galadimawa interchange to motorists and pedestrians as the rains set to begin.
In an interview with Journalists, the Director-General FEMA, Idriss Abbas, revealed that blocking the road is critical and is one of the proactive measures FEMA is taking because of the onset of the rainy season.
His words: “Going with the predictions as well as the reality on ground, we think that we should not wait any longer but to block the slip roads”.
The DG explained that another measure FEMA has fully employed as a strategic preventive measure as the rains come is education of the residents of the FCT on the climatic change. Adding that the climate experience in the past year will differ from the experience this year.
Abbas assured FCT residents of FEMA’s commitment to protect lives and properties, by not relenting on its oars in discharging of their responsibilities.
Also speaking on the blockade, the Director, Department of Forecasting, Response and Mitigation, FEMA, Florence Wenegieme explained that the blockade is to protect lives and properties. Noting that flash floods which occurs on the slip road during the rainy season moves from the upstream to the downstream, thereby, making it difficult for motorists and pedestrians to freely ply the road.
She explained that preceding the blockade, announcements and sensitization has been carried out on various media platforms to adequately inform the residents of FCT on the imminent blockade and dangers of plying such vulnerable access roads.
Wenegieme noted that the blockade of the slip road located around the popular Galadimawa roundabout is being done on the directive of the Muhammad Musa Bello Administration to avoid loss of lives and properties in the case of any eventuality.
Speaking on the lasting solutions to prevent the yearly barricading of the slip road, Wenegieme hinted that because the road is on a low plain, it would be eventually heightened after the ongoing construction of the express road is concluded, stressing that the blockade is a short term mitigative measure.
The Director said in addition to the blockade, FEMA would station volunteers as well as the search and rescue team which includes the divers and vanguards, across the six area councils who would swing into action to save lives in any case of eventuality.
She pleaded with FCT residents to momentarily move onto the alternative express road until the water level come down while advising residents to follow the rules and regulations already prescribed by FEMA.
Her words: “We have always advised residents of the FCT that once it rains and the road is flooded, not to ply flooded road; you can always change your route and take another access road or you hold on and allow the water level to come down. That is why we have flood-warning signs stationed across the vulnerable locations. We also advise them to call 112 as soon as they notice any flash floods.”
Wenegieme revealed that other flood prone areas that would be blocked as a preventive measure of casualities include Dogongada, Damaganza box culvet behind Gudu Market, Apo Dutse behind Cedarcrest Hospital among others.
Recall that a heavy flood which occurred at the Galadimawa roundabout claimed the life of one Tony Okecheme on his way to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in August, 2019.