As a measure to fast-track rescue operations during flooding and other disasters across Nigeria, the Lagos State Government and experts in aviation industry have advocated the need for federal and state governments to embrace novel strategies to better manage disaster in the country.
They said that these novel strategies, when embraced by the country, would assist the governments in preventing loss of lives and properties that often occur during disasters.
The strategies include integrating helicopter emergency services into disaster management, use of Earth Observation Satellite and drones to monitor flooded locations from above across the country.
They spoke at the Emergency Rescue Airlift 2022 Forum, tagged: ‘Airlift emergency assistance for flood affected areas,’ held in Ikeja, the state capital.
According to the experts, governments integration of helicopter would ensure natural disaster victims’ get a quick rescue as well as receive immediate help needed.
The Director, Aerodrome and Airspace Standards, Mohammed Odunowo, argued that integrating helicopters into the public safety use particularly for airlifting natural disaster victims remains best means of reaching out during distressed, just as he urged the aviation industry to understand the roles of Helicopter Emergency Medical services (HEMS).
Odunowo said: “Nigeria has had its fair share of flood disasters this year. The deployment of additional helicopters will greatly help in saving more lives. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is willing to collaborate to ensure the safe operations of helicopters in fulfilling their roles as first responders to save lives.
“In Nigeria, there are strong indications that the climate is changing. When the climate gets warmer, it results in heavy rains, relative sea level rises around most shorelines consequently leading to extreme sea levels being experienced more frequently…”
On his part, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Dr. Bolaji Gaji called for partnership to strengthen flood and disaster management in the country.
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