The National Emergency Management Agency has said that 23 people lost their lives, with 1,675 buildings destroyed in disaster incidents in South Western Nigeria.
In a statement, Sunday, NEMA said he figures were recorded in incidents between March and June this year.
“In the Zone, the Zonal Office recorded about two hundred (200) 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 (5) fire calls daily,” Ibrahim Farinloye, NEMA Spokesperson, South West, said.
“However, it is disheartening to say that in the period under review, a fire man was lost on duty line while trying to rescue a victim in a local well; he was in coma for a long before given up the ghost.
“This incident really dampened the morale, passion and spirits 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 kindly urge to further look into enhancement of the firemen welfare. ”
In the period under review, seven children, including a six-month-old, were consumed in infernos.
The period also recorded two suicide attempts: one person climbed a television mast but was rescued while one died before help could reach him. Ten persons suffered various degrees of injuries in the period under review.
Of the 1,675 houses and 313 shops destroyed by fire and windstorms across the zone, 989 houses and 219 shops were recorded in Lagos; 430 houses were affected in Oyo; while 280 houses and 85 shops.
NEMA said it provided relief materials to victims of the various disasters in 15 communities – Odofin, Agboju and Alakija in Amuwo Odofin LGA; Epe, Ogunmodede, Epetedo, Odo Iragbusi, Iraye, Poka and Ketu communities in Epe LGA; Ijede, Imota and Ikorodu in Ikorodu LGA; Ajara, Ibereko and Kakoa in Badagry LGA.
The relief material for Iba, Obadore, Abule Ado, Ije Ododo and Okokomaiko in Ojo LGA were delivered to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency for onward distribution to the victims, according to NEMA.
The agency also stated that 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 had received relief material through the 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 have 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,” Mr. Farinloye said.
“There is need for Nigerians to be more fire safety conscious in their course of their daily activities as fire disaster does not have any season when it can occur. Many people have been wondering while frequent occurrences of fire disasters on daily bases, they should be aware that fire is a good friend if you manage it carefully and can cause extensive destructions if not properly managed well at any time.
“We should avoid leaving children alone in a locked-up apartment without neighbours having knowledge or access to the area in case of emergency. If we must use candle at any time, the elders must ensure that it is put off before leaving the place for children. Community responsibility of being a brother keeper must be enhanced and encouraged for the best interest of everyone as we do not when we may need the help of our neighbours.
“People should use the onset of rainfall to plant trees in their premises to serve as windbreaker that would help in reducing the increasing rate of windstorm disasters that are exposing more families to disaster risk.”