By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, and the State Safety Commission, LSSC, have stressed the need for the use of face masks as well as adhering to social distancing rules in public as part of measures to curtail the spread of ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the state in particular and Nigeria in general.
General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, made the remark during the distribution of various relief materials and sensitisation to residents of Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
Fasawe explained that the gesture was part of ways of deepening the message of physical distancing and basic hygiene practices that could help curtail the spread of COVID-19.
The sensitisation exercise, held at Farm Settlement in Odongunyan area of Ikorodu, had each of the groups in different classrooms of not more than 10 persons seated.
Fasawe said that apart from bringing the messages of distancing and regular hygiene to the participants, the two agencies decided to complement the ongoing efforts of the state government by providing relief packages to the indigent residents.
She said: “In LASEPA, what people know us for is enforcement and sanctioning of recalcitrant persons or individuals but, unknown to many is the fact that before we issue sanctions to defaulters, we would have explored and exhausted all forms of dialogue and mutual reasoning.
“And as such, this gesture today speaks volumes to our level of civility because we identified the need to carry people along, sensitise them and also make available to them, relief materials that would make it easy for them to continue to stay at home if there is no compelling need to go out.”
Fasawe acknowledged that all members of the various associations could not take part in the sensitisation exercise due to the restriction on large gatherings, pleading with representatives of the various groups present at the event to cascade the message to other members of their groups.
She specifically urged members of the transport unions to comply with the modalities guiding their operations at this period, saying that compliance with the directive would greatly assist in lowering the spread of the virus among the commuting populace in the state.
According to her, “ensure the capacities of your buses are not beyond 60 percent passenger-capacity, disinfect your buses regularly and always make available hand sanitisers for the use of your customers.”
Fasawe, after her interaction with the various groups during the exercise, expressed satisfaction with the level of information already prevalent among the participants, attesting that it was easier conveying the messages of physical distancing and hygiene to the participants.
Also speaking at the occasion after the LASEPA boss, the Director-General of LSSC, Mr. Lanre Mojola said the holistic idea to bring the campaign to the grassroots was borne out of the genuine love for all residents to keep safe at this crucial time, especially residents living in the hinterlands where the level of awareness is presumably low.
Mojola, therefore, urged the various participating groups at the event to embrace the ‘Mask-Up’ campaign being championed by the state government, stressing that if Lagosians adhere to distancing and basic hygiene of regular handwashing with the use of sanitisers, in addition to the use of face masks, the fight against the deadly pandemic would be won in no distant time.
While decrying the continuous disregard for physical distancing directive and closure of religious centres for worship, the DG assured that the government is not relaxing its enforcement drive and would continue to clamp down heavily on erring groups or persons.
On the partial lifting of lockdown order in the state from next week, Mojola maintained that the new development does not imply that residents should disregard the various messages being preached by the state government.