FEMA saved 4,880 lives, property worth N99.3 million in FCT in 10 months: Official

The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has saved 4,880 lives and N99.3 million in property in various disasters from January to date.

The acting director-general of the agency, Ibrahim Sabo, stated this during a media interactive session in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the agency saved 1,842 lives from fire incidents, rescued 174 victims of building collapses, and saved 2,864 others from flood disasters across the FCT.

Mr Sabo said that N99.3 million worth of property had been saved in fire outbreaks within the period under review.

“So far, only eight lives have been lost to building collapse and flooding in the last nine months.

“Most of these lives lost during flooding were avoidable.

“In most of these flood-prone areas, we barricade and place a sign, warning people about the issue of flooding in that area, while our vanguards are stationed there 24 hours a day.

“Our major responsibility is saving the lives and property of the FCT residents, and we are getting full support from the FCT administration, which has been critical to achieving our mandate,” he said.

Mr Sabo said that the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, had constituted a committee to ensure the prevention of fire incidents, adding that henceforth, anyone found culpable in any disaster would be charged in court.

According to him, those responsible for any form of disaster in the FCT, such as fire, flood, or building collapse, will no longer go scot-free, stressing that the response time to emergencies has been reduced from five minutes to three minutes.

He added that FEMA has strengthened its partnership with sister agencies to effectively enhance emergency response.

“We have also been able to strengthen the capacity of our staff and equally train our volunteers, vanguards, town criers, and divers, who are the first responders during emergencies,” he said.

On her part, Florence Wenegieme, director of forecasting, response, and mitigation, urged residents to adhere to the agency’s warnings to avoid preventable death.