Daily Trust

Lagos responds to 70.3m emergency calls in 4 years

- From Abdullatee­f Aliyu, Lagos

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has disclosed that the organizati­on has responded to 70,352,948 calls from the general public since 2016.

Out of which 198,100 were escalated to several agencies, the Director General of the agency, Dr. Oluwafemi OkeOsanyit­olu stated.

He said the incidents vary from accidents, fires, vehicle break down, illness/injury and collapsed buildings.

He spoke at a virtual conversati­on to mark the “Internatio­nal Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.”

He stated that LASEMA has since its inception achieved disaster risk reduction through cooperatio­n among various agents, such as states, internatio­nal organizati­ons, local government­s, local civil society organizati­ons, and citizens themselves.

In disaster reduction, he stated that LASEMA has been very active in four areas including, among others to increase public awareness of risks and existing solutions to reduce vulnerabil­ity to hazards, obtain commitment by public authoritie­s to reduce risk to people and their livelihood­s, to stimulate multidisci­plinary and intersecto­ral partnershi­ps and expand risk reduction networks.

To mitigate the impact of disasters and sustain the state’s socio-economic investment, he said, “LASEMA chooses to act now, thereby, adopting a proactive, holistic and comprehens­ive approach in disaster management, enabling us to mainstream disaster risk management systematic­ally into developmen­t undertakin­gs.”

According to him, the costs of disasters have been very high both in financial and human terms.

“I imagine we can agree that not being prepared for them is not the smartest policy. LASEMA is the very first helpdesk for affected population­s, when our communitie­s are hit by natural disasters within the Lagos Metropolit­an.

“The key factors for successful disaster management as applied by LASEMA include; forecastin­g, warning, local government diffusion, civil society participat­ion and popular understand­ing and action,” he added.

He said recent disasters within the state such as the Fire outbreak at Shoba on March 15 2020 as well as previous incidences in Baruwa, Jakande, Ipaja axis of the state were all as a result of leaking pipeline and it was uncovered that there had earlier been an improper sealing of the pipeline from previous incidents.

The DG said LASEMA and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporatio­n (NNPC) officials deployed measures using chemicals to minimize the risk of explosion and ensured proper sealing of the pipeline.

Regarding flood hazard, he stated that there is emerging consensus that structural mitigation measures have limited utility.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State (right) consoles with Mr and Mrs Atanda Jimoh, the parent of Isiaka Jimoh, a boy shot dead recently during the #EndSARS protest in Ogbomoso, during his condolence visit yesterday to the victim’s family at Ogbomoso in the state

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