The Managing Director, Lagos Waterways Authority (LASWA); Mrs Abisola Kamson, ( R) fixing a life jacket on a kid, Chairman, Lagos Ferry Services; Paul Kalejaiye ( M) , assisting a staff to also dress up a girl, with her life jacket at Ilashe community in Oriade Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos state last week .
---LASWA donates life jacket to residents
Sequel to the boat mishap of penultimate Sunday at the Ilashe area of Lagos state which claimed 12 lives, the Lagos Ferry Services (LFS) has embarked on a sensitization programme to the residents of the area on how they could make travelling on water more meaningful and safer.Speaking during the visit, the CEO of Lagos Ferry Services; Mr Paul Kalejaiye noted that the visit was to commiserate with the community and also to educate them on how they could make a living on water more meaningful and safer even as LASWA on behalf of the state government, donated life jackets to boat users in the area.Kalejaiye advised the residents to always ascertain the condition of the boat before boarding and to ensure that the captain of the boat is in is not be under the influence of alcohol or any other externality. “Always ensure that the boat is in good condition before boarding no matter the type of boat and also ensure that the captain of the boat is not under the influence of alcohol. The third thing you must also check is to ensure that you are provided with a life jacket, your life jacket is your ticket to enter and sail on our waters. If you don’t have life jacket, you are like somebody who is driving a car without a seat belt and safety is first and foremost personal. The right to live is first and foremost personal before it becomes the responsibility of the government”He also said that they have appealed to the boat operators to maintain a minimal speed limit on the waters.“And having ensured that you wear a proper life jacket and a life jacket that is good and we have appealed to the boat operators that they must maintain certain speed limit on our waters”, he said.Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the LASWA, Engr. Abisola Kamson, conveyed the condolences of the Lagos State government to the community and to the families of those that lost their lives in the unfortunate incident.Kamson while describing the mishap as tragic, also prayed God not to allow such incident to recur even as he asked God to bless and grow the community and also, the state. “On behalf of His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, we sincerely send our deepest condolences and sympathize with the entire community. We come here today to know the community, to let the community know us as well. We are here for the community, this is a riverine community, I am sure everybody here grew up knowing the water and as a regulator of the waterways, we don’t want to be far away from you. We want to be here so that we know each other and so that we can also help the community in whatever it is they needed to make movement along the waterways easier.She also promised the support of the state government to the people of that area.“We are here to support and to appreciate and let you know that we are not far, you can reach us at any time. This will be the first of many of this type of community meetings and discussions to show support and to make sure that what happened on Sunday never happens again”, she assured.Speaking further, Kalajaiye, informed the residents that the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode had directed the two bodies to visit the community to distribute life jackets so that the community on behalf of the state government.He said,” it will be handed over to Kabiyesi, through him to the boat operators. We are not going to give to individuals we are going to donate them to the operators. That means any time you come here and you want to board a ferry and they cannot provide you with a life jacket, you have the right to question them”.In his response, the Onilashe of Ilashe Kingdom, Oba Fatai Akinyomi while thanking them for the visit and for donating the life jackets to the community prayed God not to allow such incident to befall the community.He called on those who are yet to register their boat and submit their activities to the regulators of the association of the boat operators to do so.He also urged members of the association to report anyone operating in the area without registering his boat to him for sanctions adding that the era of non-compliance to regulations was gone.