The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and other emergency stakeholders have strategised to ensure disaster were effectively tackled promptly to avoid casualty during an emergency.
Dr Femi-Oke Osanyintolu, the LASEMA General Manager, said that the synergy between the stakeholders would ensure effectiveness and provide confidence among the agencies during the emergency period.
Osanyintolu while giving his remarks at the stakeholders’ meeting with the theme, “Sustaining Synergy Among Stakeholders in Emergency/Disaster Management”, said the collaborations would enhance prompt intervention during a disaster.
“Our synergy is intended to provide us with workable strategies to renew the confidence in our collective ability, responsibility and capacity to rise up to any emergency and disaster challenges in the state.
“It will also afford us an opportunity of in-depth review and plan of various stakeholders as well as to understand our collective roles in disaster prevention, preparedness, management, mitigation, response and recovery in the state.
“The law that set up LASEMA did empower the agency to coordinate the activities of all its stakeholders and NGO’s who are categorised into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Responders in all emergency and disaster situations in the state,” he said.
According to him, the meeting is geared towards building more collaboration and opportunities in increasing the capacity building of our stakeholders which will serve as a solid foundation for effective and efficient emergency management.
The general manager said that all over the world, surmounting emergencies took the collaborative efforts of relevant stakeholders on one hand, and the active support and collaboration of the grassroots, communities and the populace towards the protection of lives and properties.
“Although, we are fully aware of the various challenges bordering on emergency management, confronting the state as a metropolitan and cosmopolitan city.
“The challenges which include high industrial concentration, exposure to more traffic accidents upon increased vehicular density, possibilities of floods, fire disaster and sundry others.
“As part of several measures to tackle these challenges, the repositioning of the Command and Control Centre, which is the nucleus where all emergency calls are activated.
“This will ensure that communication and coordination between responders are handled effectively, regardless of agencies affiliations or event types or size,” he added.
Osanyintolu said that the Command and Control Centre had, therefore, assisted the escalation of distress calls to appropriate agencies for prompt and effective interventions.
He noted that it also interfaced with those on the field of operation and the control room personnel for support and necessary deployment in response to most emergency cases.
LASEMA in line with the global standard and in consonance with LASEMA Law of 2015 as (amended) by the Law 2011 established Zonal Rescue Coordinating Centres.
“It gives room for the Agency to decentralise its operational centres to cover the three Senatorial District of the State; namely, Lagos West, Lagos East, and Lagos Central Senatorial District with support from the Command and Control Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
“The Cappa Dispatch Centre in Oshodi, Onipanu on Ikorodu Road as well as Lekki Response Unit which is strategically positioned to facilitate quick response to emergencies on the state’s waterways and for the proximity to riverine areas of Lekki and environs.
According to him, the agency is also proposing capacity building to ensure that all its stakeholders become sufficiently sensitised and enlightened on issues of emergencies, disasters prevention, response and management.
“Now, more than ever before, the relationship between LASEMA and all its stakeholders should be strengthened for the purpose of making the state a safe haven,” he added.
Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the wife of the Lagos State Governor, said in her keynote address that the synergy among the stakeholders was critical as it offered a focal platform to galvanise emergency responders.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Dr Abiola Mafe, a Consultant, said that the meeting showed how best to work together to achieve a result to save lives and properties during emergency situations.
“Like the medical sector, the major objective of emergency responders is to save lives and it must remain so, our priority should not and must not be about unnecessary supremacy battle,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Mr Tunji Disu, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, in charge of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in Lagos, said the main challenge during the emergency in Lagos State was the crowd.
Disu said that majority of the crowd were there not to save lives but to loot and steal from the scene.
According to him, crowd control is one of the challenges facing emergency management in the state.
He said the stakeholders should work together to ensure emergencies were attended to promptly to avoid casualties.