- don’t panic says LASEMA boss
By Olanrewaju Adesanya
The Lagos State Emergency Management Authority henchman, Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu has urge Lagosians not to panic but abide by rules and regulations of Governor Babajide Sanwoolu led administration, sequel to the early warnings and predictions of imminent flood by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency .
Oke-Osanyintolu made this call on Lagosians in a chat with National Daily at his office in Alausa, stating in clear terms that the administration place much premium on the safety of lives and properties of every citizen of the state.
“Lagos State government has lived up to their task,I can only say that his excellency Governor Babajide Sanwoolu has afforded us a surface ground for us to perform our role.
“Having defined our rules, responsibility and required efficiency because he has placed safety of lives and properties paramount to this administration.
“So the citizen of the state just need to abide by what the government has put in place,which pays more premium on the preventive aspect, our ministry of environment.
“The drainage units have commenced de-silting of all our drainages, we are appealing to our people to ensure that they clean the drainage in front of their house.
“We are appealing to our people too that they should go and do a good maintenance of their structure, we are appealing to our people that they should not build to obstruct drainages.
“We pay much emphasis on our LAWMA which is the agency that takes care of clearing waste within Lagos state,so if you look at that we are working effectively and efficiently to ensure safety of lives and properties in the state.
The health and emergency expert also hinted that from available empirical data, 32 out of the 57 local government areas of the state are vulnerable to flooding and appropriate precautionary measure are in place to abate such development.
“Lagos State being a metropolitan,cosmopolitan state, one of the risk that we are exposed to is flood, so we look inwards.
“We are being empirical about what we are doing and from the data we have gathered, we discovered that about 32 of our local government are more vulnerable to flood and with that we commenced strengthening,building the resilience of our local emergency management committee.
“The point is this we realized that the grave impact of this disaster is to the grassroot, therefore we have to build the resilience from the grassroot.
“To ensure that we must have effective local emergency committee in place, we must strengthen our local emergency management committee, that we have done.
“Again we have decentralized the operation of LASEMA, we now have zonal offices, which are going to work,collaborate and ensure that we work hand in hand with all the local emergency management committee and the volunteers.
“We are building the capacity of our people, we are creating awareness for our people. Now from the look of things,you will discover that we have put in place a sort of early warning units.
“We are more concerned about the preventive aspect than even of response aspect not only are we putting much emphasis on preventive aspect,we are now carrying stimulation exercises, that okay let’s go there if the floods occur what do we expect the state to do?
“We have relief centres positioned strategically in all our three senatorial districts which means we can evacuate victims of flood from the scene to our relief camp where our citizen would be well taken care of.
Commenting on availability of funds to execute the LASEMA mandate, Oke-Osanyintolu said that the synergy remains the in thing in emergency situations.
“You can only give certain budget,you can’t say you know it all,the important thing is the synergy,all of you have to work together as a team.
“We have enough hands,we collaborate with everybody whenever there is an emergency in Lagos State,we collaborate with both the primary and secondary stakeholders.
“You can imagine when you collaborate with the ministry of environment, ministry of health,ministry of health have done their own bit,they have improved the primary health centres, because floods comes with a secondary risk,they are improving their primary health care centre they’ve done a lot of things.
“We are well prepared and grounded,citizen of Lagos State should remain cool, calm and collected,they should not panic.
“They just need to abide by the rules and regulations of this government and they should realize that the government of Mr. Babajide Olushola Sanwoolu has placed safety of lives and properties paramount to his agenda”. Said LASEMA boss.