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Flooding; Malawi, FCTA Rub Minds on Flood Management.
The Director General of the FCT Emergency Management Agency, FEMA ,Dr Abbas Idriss has met with the former President of Malawi and ambassador for climate change and justice, Dr Joyce Banda in Abuja.
The meeting was at the instance of the former Malawian President.
Dr Banda commended FEMA for recording zero deaths to flooding in 2022 and indicated an interest to know how the Agency achieved this.
She noted the Malawi and the FCT had faced similar climatic conditions last year.
Dr Banda informed that in 2022 heavy floods and cyclone Freddy devastated Malawi, killing scores of people and displacing 2 million people.
Noting that Malawi requires 700 billion dollars to recover infrastructure damaged by the floods, Dr Banda lamented that the whole of Africa was paying the price of climate change.
” The people that were swept away by heavy floods on the 11th of March were ignorant people who did not contribute to global warming. The global north and global south must sit down and address climate change. The north must invest to fight climate change”.
Responding, Dr Idriss said that devastating floods in 2022 claimed about 600 lives in the country, but that no lives were lost in the FCT.
He attributed this to several assessment tour of flood affected areas immediately after the rains.
” In some places it could be due to infrastructure decay, the box culvert is too small causing over flooding. The general cause of flooding in the FCT is human induced. Building on waterways, erection of embarkments on the back of a river there by blocking the free flow of water”.
” When we carry out assessment and determine the cause of the flood we bring all the stakeholders together; Department of engineering, town planners, urban and regional planning. We now intend to bring in estate developers, because sometimes the floods occur within an estate”.
The DG informed that the Administration was working out modalities to mandate developers who engage in infractions to pay for the removal of such structures.
Dr Abbas also mentioned education, sensitization and engagement of residents particularly through town hall meetings as some of the measures adopted to mitigate flooding in the FCT.
Others are strengthening of local emergency councils, training of local divers on modern rescue techniques, emergency Marshalls, regular de-silting of drainages, blockage of dangerous slip roads, mounting of billboards in flood prone areas and the deployment of drone for aerial survey of flood prone areas .
Nkechi Isa
Head, Public Affairs
9th May 2023.

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