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takes disaster advocacy to the grassroots

Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) on Friday joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction, a day set aside by the United Nations to promote a global culture of risk awareness and disaster reduction.

At a well-attended event held at the Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC) Magodo, Lagos, the Commissioner for Special Duties and inter-Governmental relations, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye, in a keynote address stated that the State government has chosen to join the rest of the world to celebrate this day, to plan, partner and share experiences with governments and organizations to ensure that global awareness about effective actions, policies and practices are taken to reduce exposure to disaster risk at the community level, thereby contributing to saving homes and livelihoods.

The Commissioner said that the theme for this year’s celebration “Reducing the number of people affected by disaster by 2030” a focal area of Target “B”of Sendai 7 couldn’t have been more appropriate, coming at a time when there is need to develop local initiatives for reducing the occurrence and minimizing the adverse effects of disasters if the goal of sustainable development is to become a reality.

“For us in the State, this day has become a platform to encourage every individual, stakeholders and the community to take part in building moredisaster resilient communities and nation” he reaffirmed.

He further noted that Lagos, in its bid to continually promote prompt response management and implementation strategy, recently held a State Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Summit for major Stakeholders in South- West Nigeria.

Earlier in his welcome address, the General Manager of Lagos State Emergency Mamagement Agency, LASEMA, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu expressed confidence in the capacity of the Agency to drastically reduce the number of emergency/disasters victims earlier than the 2030 date proposed by the United Nations, saying that the unrelenting efforts of the agency’s emergency responders, the provision of heavy-duty equipment as well as the increased manpower within the disposal of the Agency are pointers to his assertion.

He added that the Agency is also encouraging volunteers to complement the efforts of the emergency responders in addition to building cordial synergy with all relevant stakeholders in emergency matters like the Fire service  the ambulances services, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and many others.

“LASEMA is building more dispatch centres, we are improving our response time, we have built relief camps for victims of disasters, we are ensuring periodic upgrade of our facilities in both  the Call and Control centres among several other interventions by us”

“With the foregoing, it is evident that the vision of reducing the number of people affected by disaster by 2030 is achievable but requires increased vigilance and commitment of stakeholders in emergency and disaster management” the General Manager stated.

Tiamiyu who acknowledged that the task ahead in reducing dissaster risk is still enormous, called for private sector support and collaboration of other stakeholders in emergency management, adding that the task of making Lagos State safe and secure must be collectively pursued to make the State habitable and enviable by all and sundry.

Mr. Tiamiyu commended the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for the huge investment expended in expanding the capacity of the Agency and for the giant stride taken in supporting the agency and other stakeholders in achieving great feats in disaster reduction across the State.

He used the event to emphasis the need for more public awareness and education on what is expected of memebers of the public when emergency occur.

Also speaking at the event, Dr. (Mrs.) Ruth Ochanya Adio-Moses , a Senior Lecturer with Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan in her Lecture urged the Agency to expand its community training and rescue operations.

She described as impressive the decision of the State Government to absorb some emergency volunteers into the civil service as full staff, saying that the efforts will go a long way in addressing the shortage of manpower that could limit the scope and operations of the Agency.

Dr. Adio-Moses, sought for more public cooperation and understanding with the Agency just as she craved for increased inter-agency synergy between LASEMA and other Ministries , Departments and agencies, MDAs of the State Government.

Highlight of the celebration was a presentation by the Guest Speaker, Dr Ruth Adio-Moses from the Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan while applauding LASEMA for raising awareness on disaster reduction, she urged all stakeholders to ensure that they desist from actions that could escalate man made disasters within communities.

She commended the effort of LASEMA in Emergency Intervention, Mitigation of Colossal disaster, Rescue Operations, Partnering in Development of Lagos State and Reduction of disaster through community Training and education.

Drama presentation by the Lagos State cultural troop also dramatized the different level of disasters and the need to desist from actions that could cause disasters across the State.

Adebayo Kehinde

Public Affairs Office, LASEMA

13th October, 2017

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