As part of measures to curb frequent boat mishaps and ensure safety on the inland waterways, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has distributed over 1500 Life Jackets to ferry operators, passengers and riverine communities across the state.
Speaking to journalists at the weekend, Managing Director of LASWA, Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, said the Authority has intensified campaign to emphasize the use of Life Jackets by all waterways users.
He said the 1500 life jackets were distributed within 2017 and January 2018, adding that more would be distributed in the course of the year.
Emmanuel urged passengers to insist on life jackets before embarking on any journey on the water.
He said aside the donation of life jackets, the authority 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.
The LASWA boss added that to improve safety on the waterways, the Authority with relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) is currently planning and working towards establishing an Emergency and Response Unit for the Inland waterways.
He said the 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.
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