The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) in collaboration with Enviroplus+ Associate Ltd has inaugurated the National Waterways Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit to address the challenge of boat mishaps that usually occur on the waterways.
The NIWA area manager, Mrs. Christy Hastu, said in Lokoja yesterday during the inauguration/sensitization programme for stakeholders in waterways transportation that the response unit would help in rapid response to emergency cases in order to save more lives.
Hastu said waterways stakeholders, especially boat operators, were sensitized on the need to use standard boats, as well as adhere strictly to carrying only the number of passengers which their boats are designed for.
The area manager attributed some causes of boat mishaps on the nation’s waterways to the use of substandard boats and overloading by vessel operators.
The Head, Projects and Programmes, Enviroplus+ Associates Ltd, Mr. Olubankole Omokivie, urged boat drivers and their passengers to wear life jackets before embarking on journeys through the waterways.
Enviroplus+ is consulting for NIWA in the training of operators in the waterways to ensure they imbibe the best practices that would guarantee safety on the waterways