Abuja - The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Abuja Operations Office, on Tuesday warned flood-prone communities in FCT not to dump refuse in water ways as it could cause flooding.
The Co-ordinator of the office, Ishaya Chonoko, gave the warning during a sensitisation tour of Kubwa, a satellite community in FCT.
Chonoko said that the sensitisation tour was part of efforts to reduce the impact of flood in vulnerable communities.
He said that the exercise was given in view of the 2015 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) by the National Metrological Agency (NIMET).
"The essence of the senitisation is a reminder to the vulnerable communities to flooding the need to be very friendly with the environment.
"Earlier in the year, there was a prediction by the NIMET which was released and we were made to understand how the weather was going to look like in the year 2015.
"We chose Kubwa to do this sensitisation because there are a lot of environmental unfriendly activities ranging from illegal mining along the water coast to dumping of refuse.
"We are here to remind people that rainfall is natural and water has its course, as long as we do not observe and respect the natural course of water ways, any attempt by anyone to block the water from flowing will definitely get where we don’t expect it."
Chonoko urged Nigerians to explore the opportunities inherent in converting waste to wealth and to contribute their quota to the global effort at reducing the adverse effect of climate change on planet earth.
Also read: States urged to heed flood warnings
Speaking earlier at a workshop with the theme: "Waste Management in the context of flooding for vulnerable communities", organised by the office, the Director-General of FEMA, Abbas, said that since the release of the NIMET’s SRP, FEMA had been working closely with relevant stakeholders to provide early warning to members of the public.
The director-general, who was represented by Florence Wenegieme, the Chief Executive Officer, FCT Emergency Management Agency, said the agency was also sensitising farmers across the territory NIMET’s rainfall prediction as it could affect their farms and cause shortage of food.
Also speaking at the workshop, the Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Shehu Lawal, said that the board was making plans to ensure effective waste management across the territory.
Lawal, who was represented by Mr Alaya Hammed, the Scientific Officer 1, AEPB, urged rural dwellers to focus more on keeping their environments clean rather than dwell on the monies they would have t pay for the evacuation of their waste.
"The city centre has a well-planned waste management system in which, within the week, waste management contractors go to each house to evacuate their waste
"In our satellite towns, plans have been put in place to ensure that communities are integrated into the proper system in which all houses are able to evacuate their waste properly as is done in the city centre.
"That will reduce incessant the disposal of waste in water ways and channels," he said.
The exercise in Kubwa, saw officials of the agency, led by Chonoko, go from street to street to educate residents on the need for them to keep their environment clean by properly disposing their waste disposal and keeping the streets clean.
Health workers and officials of Development Control Department, NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, Federal Road Safety Commission, the Red Cross, as well as the Federal Fire Service participated in the exercise.