By Olawale Ajimotokan
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commenced the demolition of about 102 houses built on water channels in the Gwagwalada Local Government Area of the territory.
The exercise carried out by the FCT Department of Development Control was the fallout of the flash flood that wiped out a family of five in Giri-Kpasere on Airport Road axis of the council area a few days ago.
The Deputy Director, Monitoring and Enforcement, Department of Department Control, Garba Kwamkur, disclosed yesterday that the FCT government had no other option than to bulldoze the marked houses in the light of the recent forecast of more rains and flooding in the affected area.
He noted that the demolished structures were marked more than one year ago, adding that the residents were duly notified to evacuate the flood prone plains.
Kwamkur also added that the demolished community was part of a land covering about 260 hectares captured in the Abuja Master Plan for the development of the University of Abuja in Gwagwalada.
He, however, lamented that some indigenous people and other squatters had illegally coveted the land by erecting shacks and other unapproved structures in the area.
According to him, “The university wrote to us regarding the issue of encroachment. The settlement here which is due for resettlement has grown beyond its boundary. We also had an issue of flooding sometime last week where five persons, who were swept off by the flood, were confirmed dead.
“We actually discussed with the village leaders the need to evacuate the flood plain. FEMA has also predicted that there would be heavy floods this year, so we are taking precautionary measures, which explains why all the buildings along the flood plains will be demolished.”
The Chief of the Community, Mr. Isah Egari, who said he was not opposing the demolition of the houses built along the water channels, however, pleaded with the government to give the residents more time to move out from the affected places.