The Lagos State government has purchased over 5,000 drones to monitor the City’s waterways and increase the safety of commuters in the city’s waterways.
With the new technology, the government is planning to increase the effectiveness of its search and rescue operations, as well as protect the lives and property of passengers.
Over the past year, Lagos has experienced a series of boat mishaps. One of them is the Irewe community boat crash which left about three people dead and two missing in August last year.
With over 5000 drones now available to observe the waterways, many of such accidents can be avoided and faster forms of rescue can be mounted with the early warning from the drones.
According to director-general of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, Lagos currently has about 70,000 daily commuters on its waterways and over 1.5 million every month.
With the frequent and almost unavoidable traffic congestion in Lagos, waterways offer one of the fastest and easiest ways to get to one’s destination.
However, with Lagos’ history of flood and occasional news of boat accidents, fear of water and a perception about the lack of safety has become the strongest reasons why some commuters don’t travel through waterways.
However, the additions of drones to monitor the waterways would come as welcome boost and assurance to many who still fear the use of the waterways.
According to Femi, the purchased drones are already being connected to the state Command Control Centre with Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) and mobile CCTV equipment to increase security.
He further added that heavy and light equipment such as jet skis, ambulance boats and rescue boats have been purchased and distributed to the LASEMA units to increase effectiveness.
When eventually deployed, the drones could help curb boat accidents and increase the safety of Lagos waterways. This can, in turn, draw in more Lagosian to use its services and by effect reduce the strain on the roadways.