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Water transporters urged to promote safety measures

By Sunny A. David, Onitsha
The need for water transporters to apply caution as they ply the water ways have been re emphasised.
That was the focal point of speeches delivered during a two day awareness campaign organized for stake holders of Onitsha Inland Waterways.
In an opening speech, the Executive General Manager Corporate Social Responsibility Total Upstream Group, Engineer Vincent Nnadi, represented by Dr Charles Nginbara, said the awareness campaign was aimed at empowering the operators, passengers and jetty managers with requisite safety skills required to navigate waterways without accidents.
Engineer Nnadi said that most times people fall victim of waterway accident due to ignorance and unsafe behaviour of boat drivers and passengers and in a bid to put an end to such occurrence, Total and her partners CNOOC, SAPETRO, PETROBRAS and ANPEZ center for Environment and Development decided to bring the campaign to Onitsha.
On her part, the Area Manager National Inland Waterways Authority, Onitsha Area office, Mrs. Uche Amadi, said that the safety awareness programme will go a long way in providing the missing link between the operators, passengers and regulators who view safety measures as expensive bureaucratic and unnecessary expenses.
Mrs. Amadi noted that most boat drivers do not have drivers licence and have no regards to boat loading standards which lead to overloading and possible accident.
In a lecture, the Managing Director ANPEZ Center for Environment And Development Mr. Everist Nwankwo, said that marine transport is the safest means of transportation but for the attitude of key players in the business, listing high wind, loss of visibility, overloading, bad weather increased particles and debris on the water high ways among others, as the major causes of water accident.
The Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Total, Mrs. Delight Sunday, later presented safety cards for passengers and passenger check list to the participants whom she told, to make a regular duty to use them before embarking on each trip.
All the jetties across the state who attended the workshop were given life jackets for the boat drivers and their passengers, as they were warned not to leave their jetty without putting the life jacket.

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