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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Houses submerged to window levels at Abuja’s Trademore Estate after rainfall

Houses were submerged to window levels at the Trademore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja, after a downpour on Monday morning.

This is even as the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Department (FEMD), says no life was lost in the event.

The acting Director-General (D-G) of FEMD, Mrs Florence Wenegieme, stated this while assessing the extent of the flash flood that submerged some of the houses up to window level.

“There was no distress call from the residents of Trademore Estate. It was a passerby that saw the flooding and called us and there was no report of anybody missing.

“I am here with some members of the residents’ association and none of them reported that somebody is missing, dead or that somebody was drawn.

“If there is any, we have not received such a report,” Wenegieme said.

Supporting FEMD’s position, a security man with Pento Security Guard, Mr Eborn Sunday, equally said: “I am not aware of anyone that was killed by the flash flood this morning.

“We were on duty when the rain started around 7 a.m. Suddenly we saw the water level rising up and we started securing our belongings.

“After that, we started helping people whose houses were being submerged to safety. The water flooded the houses towards the estate gate up to window level, but no life was lost.”

The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reports that FEMD, along with officials from the National Emergency Management Agency, Department of Development Control, Department of Engineering Services, and Fire Service were at the scene to assess the situation.

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Wenegieme explained while speaking to journalists that the emergency officials were not supposed to be at the estate because it was declared a disaster zone in 2022 due to the recurring flooding in the area.

Wenegieme said that the 2023 incident submerged almost all the houses in the estate.

She also said that her team was not supposed to be at the estate because the residents had dragged FCT Administration to court over plans to demolish all houses built on waterways.

She said that about 116 houses were marked for demolition because they were built on waterways, but FCTA was restrained from removing the houses by a Court Injunction obtained by the residents.

According to her, the houses that were submerged by the flash flood were part of the 116 houses marked for demolition for sitting on flood plain.

“The injunction stopped FCTA from removing all obstruction along the waterway, which was part of the solution to the lingering challenge.

“The residents were also advised to move out of the area, but they refused to move.

“We are here again to advise them that they should move out of the location in their own interest,” she said.

The acting D-G further said: “We have just discovered a school on the flood plain with students that could be up to 500, including their teachers, management and other non-academic staff. Their lives are at stake.”

She advised the school management to relocate the school to safer grounds for the sake of the children and the teachers, including the properties.

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“You all are not safe when there is flooding. If there is a downpour again, you never can tell what will happen and that is why we don’t want our children, the leaders of tomorrow, to remain here. We are just here to advise you for now,” she said.

She noted that the residents of the estate had mobilised their engineers who came up with an engineering solution that apparently did not solve the problem.

She appealed to the residents to move and allow the government to put the necessary infrastructure in place.

“But a situation where houses are still sitting on waterways and they are refusing to move, tell me how we will be able to solve the problem?

“If the court injunction is removed, and we are given the opportunity to come and put things in place, the FCT Administration will come and put things in place,” she added.

On the contrary, Mr Inemesit Udofot, Chairman, Trademore Estate Residents Association, Phase II, said that no house was sitting on a flood plain in the estate.

Udofot claimed that the recurrent flooding in the estate was largely caused by the channelling of water into Trademore by the adjoining estates.

According to him, demolition is not the way out. (NAN)

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