The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is issuing a critical warning to residents against the dangerous practice of traversing floodwaters. This advisory comes in the wake of a tragic incident where a 31-year-old motorcyclist lost his life to flooding in Abuja.
Mrs. Florence Wenegieme, the Director of Forecasting Response and Mitigation at FEMA, emphasized the importance of heeding these warnings to avert preventable fatalities. She made this appeal during an interview in Abuja on Sunday.
Tragically, the victim, Yakubu Lucky, defied the advice of local divers stationed at Dogon Gada in the Lokogoma District of the FCT, disregarding FEMA’s safety precautions following a heavy downpour on Friday. The agency had previously taken measures such as road barricades and the placement of warning billboards to prevent access during flooding.
Wenegieme stressed that the incident was entirely avoidable, underscoring how FEMA’s efforts to safeguard residents were being ignored. She lamented that in many communities, despite extensive awareness campaigns, some residents continue to disregard FEMA’s warnings against venturing into floodwaters.
The director pointed out that FEMA has been actively engaged in extensive public awareness campaigns throughout the year, striving to educate residents on how to protect themselves during flooding and other emergencies. However, the persistence of such incidents highlights the need for increased cooperation and vigilance among the public.
FEMA has deployed local divers, volunteers, vanguards, and emergency marshals in various communities to ensure a swift response to emergency situations and offer guidance to residents during critical times. Their presence and advice are essential for community safety.
In conclusion, FEMA urges residents to take their advice and warnings seriously, recognizing that these measures are implemented for the protection and well-being of everyone. Cooperation between FEMA and the public is crucial in ensuring that lives are not unnecessarily endangered during disasters and emergencies.