The Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has given out 300 pieces of life Jackets to canoe operators along the riverine communities in the state.
Distributing the life Jackets in Dorawa river crossing points in Jahun Local Government Area, Executive Secretary of SEMA, Sani Babura said the Jackets cost the state government over N2,5 million.
The executive secretary explained that there are 300 pieces of life jackets, out of 50 were for children.
Babura stated that the present governor Badaru Abubakar led administration made it compulsory to any canoe operator and all passengers on board most use the jacket, adding that “it is against the law to any operator to carry more than eight passengers per trip”.
He maintained that a full passenger load per trip is supposed to be 10 persons, but reduced it to be eight in order to give space for those carrying load.
According to him, the life Jackets were going to be distributed to 44 canoe operators, each would get eight pieces, said this is the first phase of the intervention programme and that the personal of the agency were in the field with a view to identify more river crossing points so that more of the life jackets would be distributed.
He further stated that any canoe operator who refused to use or give his passengers the life jackets during crossing or traveling on water would be dealt with, saying a proposal had since been forwarded to the state House of Assembly for a legislature on possible law to take care of the violators.
Babura stressed that each of the life jackets has the capacity of keeping 200kiligram object afloat and that each of the jacket has a whistle and reflectors, saying in the night the reflectors would aid the rescue team to trace a victim while the whistle was expected to attract the attention of the rescue team.
“we have distributed 300 pieces of life jackets to 44 canoe operators. Each of the operator was given eight pieces of life jackets which is equivalent to a full passenger load of a canoe. It is now a law that no canoe operator would take more than eight passengers in a conoe while either crossing or travelling on the river in Jigawa state,” he said.
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