The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners has called on communities and residents of the territory to take responsibility in ensuring that the effects of flooding during the rainy season within the territory are minimised or eliminated.
The vice chairman 1 of the chapter, Tpl Lami Ayuba, who made the call at the 2021 World Environment Day held in Abuja, also enjoined developers to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Abuja Master Plan.
Ayuba, however, identified human activities such as blocking of drainages, not seeking approval before commencement of any development and construction along river banks or choice of flood-prone areas as the major causes of flooding in the nation’s capital.
She also used the occasion to call on government at all levels to engage town planners at every stage of development for proper planning, monitoring, and management of the Federal Capital City (FCC), thereby preventing the wanton destruction of lives and property occasioned by previous floods.
“For us to secure lives and property, we should adhere to the provisions of the Abuja Master Plan, by ensuring that all drainages are clear, seek approval before commencing any development, avoid building along river banks and flood-prone areas, report any suspicious development to the appropriate agencies and avoid dumping of wastes along water channels,” she said.
The vice chairman revealed that flooding has been identified as the most common and costly natural disaster, stressing that floods have dealt devastating blows in urban and rural areas of Nigeria in the past decade and is expected to increase due to more heavy rainstorms potentially caused by climate change.
She also lamented that in 2020, a family of five was swept by flood at Giri district in the FCT, while houses were submerged in some areas amidst the loss of property, adding that floods have claimed lives and property without discriminating between any class of the population.