By Daniel Tyokua
Reprieve has started coming the way of Lokogoma District house owners as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) at the weekend begun removal of structures built on the water ways.
This followed the incessant flooding occasioned by the illegal buildings that hinder free flow of water anytime there is down pour, which always resulted to loss of lives and property.
Recall that the FCT Administration through the permanent secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa gave two-week ultimatum for owners of buildings obstructing flood plains and natural water channels at the Lokogoma District to evacuate such properties.
Following the expiration of the notice, enforcement team of the Department of Development Control began the removal exercise from the IPENT II Estate of the District.
The Director, Department of Development Control Mukhtar Galadima, said that the exercise may last for one month considering the difficult terrain their equipment will have to navigate through. He also said that a total of 121 structures will be removed. These structures include whole buildings, fences and illegal attachments.
A statement by FCTA chief press secretary, Anthony Ogunleye said that legal action might be taken against offending developers as the Department is working very closely with the Legal Secretariat of the FCTA to consider its legal options. What is however certain, according to Mr Galadima is that the offending developers will not go scot-free.
The Director revealed that all the structures being removed had received stop-work and demolition notices long before the exercise commenced, but the developers ignored such warnings. The exercise he further said will be carried out in other mass housing districts of Kafe and karsana where such violations also exist.
Recall that the Permanent Secretary had paid an unscheduled visit to the Lokogoma District late last month following a heavy rainfall which reportedly claimed one life. He therefore gave a two week notice for all structures on flood plains and water channels to be removed by the Department of Development Control.
Lokogoma District is situated in an area through which Rivers Wumba and Kabusa navigate through. However, several developers constructed houses on flood plains and water channels which often lead to severe flooding that affected lives and property.
The exercise became necessary after series of meetings with the residents and an extensive public enlightenment campaign, residents of the various estates endorsed the action by the FCTA.