Lagos govt opens Agbowa relief camp for Iwaya fire victims
THE Lagos State government has concluded plans to resettle victims of the Iwaya market disaster pending other assistance on the razed community.
State governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), during a visit to the site in Abete, Ebute Metta, last Sunday, said government would also assist the victim to get back on their feet.
Fashola, who addressed members of the Iwaya Community, most of whom lost their houses and properties to the inferno, also advised market and transport associations in the State to set up committees to ensure that everything that could cause fire outbreak was removed after each day’s business.
Commiserating with the victims, Fashola thanked God that no life was lost in the incident. He said though lost properties could be replaced, life could not be replaced adding that government would do everything within its resources to help the victims.
The Governor said as a first step towards getting the victims back on their feet, those of them who have lost their shelters would be moved temporarily to the Resettlement Centre in Agbowa where the State government has made arrangement for them to sleep until such a time as it could help them to get back on their feet.
According to him: “This is part of what your government has done with your taxes,” adding that during the period of transition in the camp the victims would be fed breakfast, lunch and dinner at the expense of the State while those who need medical support would get it from the doctors in residency.”
The government has also built teaching facilities at the centre so that children who are displaced from school would also get lessons while managing the period of transition.
Fashola reasoned that rebuilding the market would take a while, during which the victims could take succour in the relief camp.
“Putting you in that camp will help us get your accurate data, what your problems are and how we can help to get you back on your feet,” he assured.
Fashola added that the incident had once more brought to the fore the importance of getting government approvals before building anything in the State.
“As a government, we will do all we can to get you back to your feet. But let me say that you yourselves must be careful the way you build, the way you organize yourselves in clusters. This is why we always advise that you come and take government approval before you build anything, whether it is a temporary or a permanent structure.”
Continuing, Fashola said: “Those approvals will help you set out the place properly, observe minimum safety rules, electrical connections, disposal of your waste water; all of these can become hazardous to your health if you do not do the right things in the way that you have built, in the way that you gather yourselves,” he said.
Earlier, a community leader in the area, Chief Oladiji Oluwo commended the state government for the prompt response of the emergency response team, including the State Fire Service and LASEMA as well as the movement of the victims who were rendered homeless by the inferno to the Agbowa Resettlement Camp.