Some of the Survivors of Collapsed Ita Faji Building Survivors at the event. Inset: Some donated Items by Save The children International
Worried over the fate of accident victims and families at the Ita Faji building collapse in Lagos earlier in the year, health experts have called for support to ensure that adequate healthcare and rehabilitation is provided for them.
Among those who made the call penultimate Tuesday in Lagos was the Area Operations Manager for Save The Children International, Kayode Ajumobi, when the organisation made a donation of some relief materials to the victims.
Ajumobi further urged public-spirited individuals, and government at all levels to come to the aid of the victims of the collapsed building, reasoning that many of them are still in pitiable conditions and yet to recuperate.
For instance, Nine-year-old Joy Ikwueze has been at Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos, for over three months, where she is receiving medical attention to enable her walk again.
Lamenting, Joy’s mother, Ifenyinwa Ikwueze, said, “My daughter is among those that got hurt on the March 13, 2019 due to the collapsed building in Ohen Nursery and Primary school Ifaji, Lagos Island.
“After the incident, I took my daughter to Gbagada, where we spent two months and three weeks. During that process, my daughter went through dialysis and surgery. We are still battling over health, but for now she cannot walk, I believe God that soon she will start walking though she is still receiving treatment.”
Joy is one of the many children that sustained serious injuries at the Ita Faji building collapse in the state.
The plight of joy and other children has attracted the attention of government officials and international communities for support.
Worried about accident victims and families, Ajumobi urged society, policy makers and government at all levels to see the safety of children as paramount.
The expert also called for adequate healthcare to be provided for them as well as their reintegration into the society.
Reasoning that every member of the society has a role to play in child protection, the Area Operations Manager said, “Everyone has a role to play in protecting children, it is not left to government alone, and it is left to everyone within the society and community. Similarly, everyone overseeing building construction should abide by proper regulations, oversight, monitoring and evaluation. With these in place and everyone playing their part, I believe we would make a great difference.”
Still on the Ita Faji building collapse, he said, “If parents had seen noticed abnormalities in the structure prior to the its collapse and had taken it up to the appropriate authorities and the later had also taken it up with the owner of the building, it is very likely that there would have been fewer victims when the incident happened.
“So every Nigerian has to play a role to make sure that incidents like this never happen again in the country to avoid the tragedy. We call for social safety to be put in place by government at all levels.”
Speaking with Comrade Kamal Salau-Bashua, Chairman, Lagos Island, Local Government Area (LGA) in an interview told DAILY INDEPENDENT that the occasion was significant to them in Lagos Island, and especially to the survivors of the ugly incident.
Salau-Bashua while appreciating Save The Child gesture, stressed that prevention is cheaper than cure.
He said that the incident has forced the state government and partners to boost safety measures to prevent similar tragedies in future.
‘The advocacy is on-going and we can see many illegal houses and buildings that have being demolished all over the state. This has resulted to developers and property owners moving ahead of government to destroy their building by themselves for proper rehabilitation. This is because they know that government is on the trail of such buildings,” he added.
He further appealed to citizens to abide by the laws and rules for the safety of Lagos state.
He also urged corporate bodies to partner with Save The Children so that government’s burden will become lighter, saying that it is a collective responsibility to support the victims of the collapsed Ita Faji building.
Ita Faaji building collapse led to the lost of many lives and displacement of many families on March 13, 2019.