Lagos State government yesterday raised the alarm that the Ibeju- Lekki area of the state was vulnerable to disaster. However, the Director-General (DG), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Olufemi Oke- Osanyintolu, who raised the alarm, said efforts were being made to mitigate the risk and avert possible disaster.
Oke-Osanyintolu also said that emergency agencies in the state were taking special interest and showing commitment in tackling disaster in the Lagos East Senatorial Zone of the state. The DG spoke at a training for over 120 junior staff of the agency.
He said that a risk assessment conducted by LASEMA had revealed that the Ibeju- Lekki area was vulnerable to disaster. However, according to him, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is also taking disaster management in the Lagos East Senatorial Zone seriously. The DG added that to tackle the possible disaster in the axis, the governor had committed to open a LASEMA Response Unit in Epe before the end of the year. Oke-Osanyintolu also attributed the high rate of disaster in the state to the indiscipline of the residents and citizens.
According to him, if the people are disciplined, the disaster rate will be greatly reduced. He added that the biggest challenge that his agency was grappling with was the orientation of the people towards disaster, because most of the disasters which had occurred were due to the carelessness and recklessness of the citizens. According to him, the residents are key in disaster management. This, he said, was why the residents must support and cooperate with the state by abiding with rules aimed at preventing disasters.
The DG wondered why a resident would store petrochemical products in his or her shop, while another erecting a structure would flagrantly disobey the state building code aimed at ensuring safety and averting disasters. If the disaster rate must be reduced in 2021, he said the residents must change. Oke-Osanyintolu promised that his agency would continue to carry out sensitisation programmes and activities to educate the residents.