In a bid to cushion the incessant boat mishaps on Lagos waterways as recorded in recent times, the Lagos State Waterway Authority (LASWA) has rolled out a safety campaign around all Lagos jetties.
The sensitisation and awareness campaign which began today and ends on 10th of November was intended to educate both waterways operators and end users on the need to embrace safety. This according to LASWA, will reduce the number of deaths recorded on waterways.
They also revealed that the last day of the exercise will be for simulation exercise. The simulation is intended to enlighten water users in case of boat accident.
Speaking on the campaign exercise, the Managing Director of LASWA, Mr Damilola Emmanuel enunciated the importance of such exercise to waterway users.
In his words: “The exercise is to audit all our jetties because we realise that most of our jetties need to be upgraded and viable.
“We will also use the opportunity to create awareness on safety issues like wearing of life jackets, using good boats and enshrine general safety across the waterways”
He continued, “next week, we shall be running a simulation; like if you put fall into water, what will actually happen to you. People to demonstrate that will wear life jackets and see how it will save them.
With that, people will be more aware that water transport is the safest mode of transport.”
Investigation revealed that there had been drastic draught of passengers on water due to the incidents of boat mishaps on water.
Speaking on the drop in number, Mr Damilola said “The number of passengers dropped from 2,000,000 monthly to 1,500,000 because of fear of safety. But we are looking into increasing the number at the up coming months after the sensitisation exercise”
On first day of the safety campaign, five jetties were visited. Operators and passengers at Bayeku and Ijede jetties both in Ikorodu were sensitised.
Further, Badore, Langnasa and Oke-iranla jetties in Ajah axis were also educated on safety measures. LASWA then promised to tackle issues raised by water users on security and overload of passengers during the campaign exercise.