By Ibidapo Balogun
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) South-west zone has disclosed that various disasters in the zone have claimed the lives of about 23 persons including seven children with six months old baby consumed in a fire disaster.
The Zonal Office who was reviewing its activities from March to June, 2015 made the revelation at the weekend.
It said that it recorded two suicide attempts; one person who climbed a television mast was rescued while one had died before help could reach him while ten persons suffered various degrees of injuries during the period under review.
In the Zone, the Zonal Office recorded about two hundred fire disaster incidences and several others that were handled by the efficient firemen of Lagos State Fire Service who have been making effective use of the state-of-the art fire appliances acquired by the state government, to attend to about five fire calls daily.
However, it is disheartening to say that in the period under review, a fire man was lost in the line of duty while trying to rescue a victim in a local well; he was in coma for a long before giving up the ghost.
This incident really dampened the morale, passion and spirit of the officers and men of Lagos Fire Service as it was the first time, the Service would experience such incident.
The State Government, which has always applauded the diligence of the service personnel, is passionately implored to look into the enhancement of the firemen’s welfare.
Furthermore, a total of one thousand, 675 houses and 313 were affected by fire and windstorms’ disasters across the zone.
Out of these, Lagos lost 989 houses and 219 shops while 439 houses were affected in Oyo.
In Ogun State, 280 houses and 85 shops were affected by fire and windstorms’ disasters.
NEMA has provided relief materials to victims of various disaster in 15 communities- Odofin, Agboju and Alakija in Amuwo Odofin LGA; Epe, Ogunmodede, Epetedo, Odo Iragbusi, Iraye, Poka and Ketu communities in Epe Local Government Area; Ijede, Imota and Ikorodu in Ikorodu Local Government Area; Ajara, Ibereko and Kakoa in Badagry Local Government Area; while in Iba, Obadore, Abule Ado, Ije Ododo and Okokomaiko in Ojo Local Government areas, relief materials were delivered to Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) for distribution to the victims.
The victims of the windstorms and fire disasters in seven communities of Igboho in Oorelope Local Government Area; Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area; several communities in Afijio, Atiba and Oyo West Local Government Area also received relief materials through Oyo State Emergency Management Agency.
In Ogun State, the victims of market fire at Igbo Aje market in Yewa South; Abeokuta South; Abeokuta North; Ayetoro and Topolo communities of Yewa North received relief materials by NEMA through the Ogun State Emergency Management Agency.
NEMA is hereby appealing to Nigerians and corporate organisations to invest more in disaster-risk reduction measures to secure their lives and property.
There is need for Nigerians to be more fire safety conscious in their course of their daily activities as fire disaster does not give notice before it can occur.