In order to bring about a permanent solution to the unending flood at Lokogoma estate which has continued to claim lives and properties of its inhabitants, authorities of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) have said that demolition of structures on flood plains in the area is inescapable.
Director, Department of Engineering Services, FCDA, Ahmed Shehu Hadi, gave this hint while addressing a press conference after a tour of the affected area in Lokogoma District, Abuja, last Friday.
A team of relevant departments of the FCDA visited the area following a recent flooding incident that claimed the life of a 17-year-old boy named Tuesday Baba.
Hadi said: “The crisis at Lokogoma is a recurring issue. It was an issue that occurred in the later part of 2017, but from the period we had the flooding, the Permanent Secretary (Sir Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa) led a team, including the Executive Secretary, FCDA (Umar Gambo Jibrin) to the spots and what we noticed on ground, majorly, was that properties were being developed on waterways, which has constricted two major rivers of Wamba and Kabusa, with the residents’ association taken up on these issues.
“The FCTA has determined to resolve these issues. There are two major issues that confronted us on Lokogoma. Lokogoma and its entire mass housing estates was cut off from ring Road II, and then the issue of flooding. But first, the district must be assessed in and out. We had mobilised one of our major contractors to go and carry out emergency work to restore the major access into Lokogoma, because that is an arterial road -the like of Ahmadu Bello Way.
“The other portion the FCTA has a problem is that of encroachment. We have to take a decision. Water must have either course – it is a wise saying and it is also an engineering position.
“That is what we are trying to do in the 2019 budget year, but in the meantime, most of these properties are without approvals. Most of them are illegal. So it is not even the issue of having to go for compensation. But if anybody can present evidence of approval….otherwise the development control department has told us that most of them are illegal.
“The Director of Engineering, however, expressed genuine sympathy of the FCT Administration to the family who lost a 17-year old boy.”
Chairman, Lokogoma residents association, Dr. Joseph Nnorom, while speaking, differed, pointing out that the issue of compensation should be put on the front burner, not back burner.
Nnorom appealed to government to save the residents from the situation the developer has put them into, even as he wondered where the enforcement authorities were when the buildings were being put up.