By Abdulwaheed Usamah,
The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has distributed over 1500 Life Jackets to ferry operators, passengers and riverine communities across the State between 2017 and 2018, the measure which was said to be part of the government continuous effort to ensure safety on inland waterways.
It said that the 1500 life jackets were distributed within 2017 and January 2018, adding that more would be distributed in the course of the year however urging passengers to insist on life jackets before embarking on any journey on the water.
The Managing Director, LASWA, Damilola Emmanuel, stated that the authority has intensified campaign to emphasize the use of Life Jackets by all waterways users and that aside, distributions of life jackets, the agency has also embarked on sensitization at various State-owned jetties whilst also using electronic media to emphasize on safety measures to be adhered to by all waterways users.
Speaking to newsmen over the weekend in Lagos, Emmanuel said that to improve safety on the waterways, the authority with relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were currently planning and working towards establishing an Emergency and Response Unit for the Inland waterways.
He added that Emergency and Response Unit collaborate with the LASWA patrol team to respond to emergency cases on the waterways, while reminding ferry operators to continue to strictly comply with safety guidelines.
“The Lagos State Government in its drive to promote a multi-modal transport system, especially the movement of passengers, goods and services on its waterways, will under no circumstances compromise safety standards and the protection of lives and property. As such we restate our commitment to the promotion of all safety measures and ensure that all operators comply with all safety standards in line with global best practices.
“Once again, the Authority will like to urge all waterways users to always wear their life jackets and report any issues immediately to the Authority or Marine Police as we continue to work to ensure a safe, clean and prosperous inland waterways,” Emmanuel said.