FCTA removes illegal structures to tackle flooding

Hudu Yakubu, Abuja

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Residents of Lokogoma District, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, in Nigeria whose houses are marked for demolition have agreed that government should go ahead and remove structures that where built on waterways to avoid flooding and also safe souls and property in the area .

This was the resolution reached in Abuja when a team of FCT officials led by the Director Development Control, Mr Mukhtar Galadima took a final visit to the area to interface with the developers and off-takers ahead of next demolition exercise.

Voice of Nigeria gathered from one of the off-taker of Blue Millennium Estate, Mr Habeeb Abdulaziz during the visit that they were been carried along on the measures taken by government toward removing all the illegal structures that were built on waterways.

According to him, “we are very happy with the way the Director of Development Control has been handling us. He has been carrying us along and he has agreed with us that this cannot be one-sided solution. It has to be a tripartite solution from the FCTA level, from the off takers and also from the developers. We are all here on ground and we are going round together.”

“The level of water within the estate is unusually very high due to the diversion of the natural course of water flow, which makes it difficult for most residents to leave their houses and go to work whenever it rains.”

“We are looking at the waterway, given our experiences as residents and they are looking at it from a professional angle and merging all these things together to see how we can redeem this problem once and for all because it helps no one if it keeps happening. There are lots of things that have gone down the drain, but then we are looking forward finding a permanent solution to this problem,” he added.

Also making his point, the Vice Chairman, Lokogoma Residents’ Association, Mr Dauda Kyau commended the plan taken by the administration, stating that, that is the only way to stop flooding and lose of lives in the area when it rain.

Mr Kyau who noted that the buildings should not have been allowed to come up in the first place, said they were glad that the government has now come in to clear those structures.

“This action was long overdue. That’s what necessitated all our agitations and various discussions with government. We are happy with this development,” he noted.

He also pointed out that residents of the estate have been facing severe incidents of flooding as a result of constriction of the river channel.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Department of Development Control with the FCT, Mr Muktar Galadima who led the FCTA team for the final meeting with the residents prior to expiration of the two-week vacation ultimatum earlier expressed delight that some of the affected residents have comply.

The Director who revealed that all is now set for the demolition exercise,added that the Department will mobilize all the necessary equipment needed to the set for the planned removal of all the structures on the waterways next week.

Galadima stated that, “we are here because we promised to go along with the residents’ Associations. The whole objective is to save lives and properties and we don’t pray for future occurrence of these unfortunate incidents. That’s why we are here this morning in conjunction with the residents’ Associations.

“We moved from estate to estate. Where we have this constriction of the stream corridor, those structures identified, we are going to capture them as we had earlier on indicated. We are coming back next week for proper implementation of that decision and that’s why we are here this morning.

“The road corridor has already been defined. We had discussions and interfaced, so now we have to implement the resolutions.”

“This corridor of 20 meters either side of the river is not just out of the blues. It’s based on standards. At the end of the day, when this District is fully serviced, you will see this corridor being laid with cables, pipes for conveyance of sewer lines, water and all these things.

“So, it’s not just that somebody just woke up and said it must be 20/20. It’s based on engineering standards,” he reminded them.