Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, has advised all emergency response services to ensure adequate collaboration with residents at incident scenes in order to manage and avert disasters.
Sanwo-Olu made the remarks at the Alausa, Lagos-based Y2021 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The event which is held every year is to promote a global culture of risk awareness and catastrophe prevention.
The theme for this year is “Disaster Risk Governance: International Cooperation for Delivering Countries to Reduce Disaster Risk and Disaster Losses”
The governor’s wife praised the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) for its quick and effective reaction to disasters.
She urged them to keep moving forward in disaster prevention and management, as well as to guarantee good coordination between Agency officials and residents at incident locations.
Mr Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, Commissioner, Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, stated in his remarks that the state’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda demonstrated the importance placed on people’ well-being, particularly in terms of security and emergency services.
According to Bamgbose-Martins, as of September 30, LASEMA had responded to over 1,300 significant catastrophes, saving lives and billions on damage.
He said: “These incidents have not only affected the state but also individual households and businesses experienced losses.”
The commissioner then recommended that everyone be constantly prepared for emergencies and ensure to constantly do catastrophe risk assessments.
Mr Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu, Director General, LASEMA, had earlier emphasized in his welcome address, the need to enhance statewide capacity, collaboration, and reinforcement efforts to effectively decrease disaster risk creation through effective disaster risk reduction.
According to him, “LASEMA stands ready to support Moving from commitment to Action”
“In the last decade, we have witnessed a steady increase in the number and magnitude of emergencies and disasters in Lagos State; some of these have caused tremendous economic damages and with losses of thousands of human lives.
“LASEMA is responsible for the coordination of both natural disasters and complex emergencies. LASEMA has responded to nearly every major disaster in the state. In so doing, it has accumulated considerable knowledge and experience,” he said.
LASEMA, according to the director general, has built a comprehensive framework for disaster response.
He went on to say that the system featured a 24-hour duty system, pre-hospital care team deployment, situation reporting, increased efforts to support stronger resilience, and immediate relief to internally displaced people via a network of local emergency responders.
Dr Soji Adeniyi, Convener, Africa Network for Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development, also spoke out, advising Nigerians to raise awareness about the threats they face every day.
When it comes to catastrophe risk management, Oke-Osanyintolu believes that working together is the best answer.
”I advise everyone to always ensure disaster risk assessment to avoid disasters.”
The ceremony was focused on giving the honorary award to the Governor’s wife, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, and officials from state emergency agencies.
A few of them that attended the ceremony include LASEMA, the Lagos State Fire Service, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corporation, the State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit, and the Red Cross.
Others present at the occasion also include the National Emergency Management Agency, partners from Yobe, Ogun, Oyo, Kaduna, and other sister emergency agencies, among others.