Global warming is real. Despite the global denial and its unpreparedness to tackle it frontally, its biting effect is already wrecking havoc and claiming lives. Sadly, more sorrows will follow in the months to come if something urgent is not done.
Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, which should ordinarily lead by example on the positively is, however, leading from behind. It has recorded some of the highest number of flood-related deaths since the rainy season commenced. The latest victim was the Director of Finance, Federal Capital Territory High Court, Mr Tony Okecheme. He did not survive the heavy downpour of last Friday in Abuja.
According to eyewitnesses, he was on his way to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport when his car got stuck in the flood at the Galadimawa Roundabout, Abuja. The victim was swept away by the raging flood. However, his driver was rescued and taken to Asokoro hospital.
Eyewitnesses alleged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials who came to the scene failed to rescue the man and his driver who were reportedly trapped in the flood for about an hour before the water swept away the director. The car, which was filled with mud water, was, however, pulled out of the ravines by the rescuers, who were angry over NEMA’s failure to rescue the man.
Two young girls who claimed to be his children were seen weeping uncontrollably at the scene of the incident. The death of the director has brought the total death toll to six since the coming of the rains this year. First, a father and his two children were washed away by flood in Lokogoma area of Abuja.
Abuja residents were yet to recover from the shock when another 17-old was killed by flood. Last month, a student of College of Education, Zuba, was also killed. Others who have been lucky have survived the raging flood. There are other underreported havocs in many parts of Abuja masterminded by the raging flood. Some communities have been sacked, while some families have been rendered homeless.
However, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), issued a warning on how to survive when caught up in any flood: “Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in some countries today including Nigeria.
“Floods may result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems. It causes outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.
When caught up, don’t walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters. Turn around and don’t drown. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
“Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Determine how best to protect yourself based on the type of flooding. Evacuate if told to do so. Move to higher ground or a higher floor.”