Why Lagos State Government Must Reach-Out To Communities on COVID 19 -…

Some civil society organisations have commended the Lagos state government on the manner it is handling the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in a state with an estimated population of 23million people.

Gbenga Komolafe, Secretary General, Federation of Informal Workers of Nigeria (FIWON), Chief Raymond Gold,Coordinator, Housing and Community Upgrade,Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation (Federation), Dr Taibat Lawawson, Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos,.Dr. Temilade Sesan, Sankofa Policy Lab, Betty Abah, Centre for Children’s Health Education,

arrangement and Protection (CEE-HOPE Nigeria), Olamide Udoma – Ejorh, Lagos Urban Development Initiative, Deji Akinpelu, Rethink Cities Initiative, Folashade Adeboyejo, POLYBRIQ and Segun Ogunleye, Urbanovate Enterprise, signed the press statement issued.

According to the CSOs, COVID-19 testing and advocacy be extended to low income communities, with clear protocols on reporting and responding to suspected situations outlined, bearing in mind that these communities are densely populated

– That special interventions in dominant and secondary health care sets are given priority, in addition as separating suspected COVID-19 situations from local communities to avoid a spiraling infection in the densely populated areas and for treating them safely.

We also observe with concern that the current palliative measures are not achieving their desired effect, in that dispensing is limited, consequently propelling protest and violence in many low-income communities.

We consequently request the LASG to consider the following propositions to unprotected to inclusive and sustainable Covid19 palliative care for the unprotected:

– That LASG allows individuals, corporate and faith-based organisations with proven engagement in local communities to rule with the dispensing of material sustain to these communities

– That LASG should consider a time limited financial sustain package to duly registered small-extent trade and market cooperatives, which will be disbursed by individual BVN accounts. International Development Assistance can be used to offset the costs of such payments

– That a mixed strategy of cash move +in kind sustain be considered for the women in need, especially for the unbanked.

– Due to the fact that Lagos relies on food dispensing networks from other parts of Nigeria and

beyond, that the operative food dispensing chains be kept open – with transporters and local retailers allowed to move around responsibly – during the lock down period.

These food distributors and market women are rendering basic sets. We especially recommend that the Neighborhoods Corps and local market associations sustain the enforcement of social distancing protocols for both buyers and sellers in these markets.

Situations like these call for price control measures that will ensure price stability

– That the Mile 12 traders’ association normalises prices and keeps them continued.

A subsidy mechanism in which government pays the difference to traders if they have to sell below the cost price can be established for this period.

– That access to free water and hand washing stations is ensured in all crowded communities

– That regular clearing of waste is ensured in communities not covered by PSPs and LAWMA’s bridge project

– That special arrangements should be made to provide permanent accommodation and feeding for the homeless in order to guarantee the requirements for social distancing and isolation for this very unprotected inner of the population.

We concede and commend the efforts of the Lagos state government to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19across the state

We recognize the efforts of the state government to provide palliatives for the elderly and unprotected, especially those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by market closure and travel restrictions. We observe that the urban poor are the most unprotected in this period of global health pandemic and economic uncertainty.

continued displacements over the past decades have increased overcrowding in many low -income areas, making all the palliative measures already more necessary.

We salute the efforts of all individual and corporate entities supporting the efforts of LASG in these challenging times and we gratefully concede the solidarity of international donors and development organisations.

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