The Nigerian Red Cross has donated relief materials to victims of the Dana plane crash, which took place on June 3 at Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos. The NRC made the donation to the displaced families as well as those who lost their valuables at the crash site on Sunday.
Cooking utensils, stoves, mattresses, clothes, mosquito nets, blankets were some of the materials donated to them. National Vice-President of the NRC, Mr. Timothy Oladele, who presented the materials, said 150 families benefitted from the first phase of the exercise which took place on Sunday. Oladele said, “The donations we are making here today are not from any government – federal, state or local. We were able to get The Netherlands Red Cross to come to our aid.”
He said as soon as the NRC got more contribution from other donors, the relief programme would be taken to another phase. The NRC’s National Deputy Head of Disaster Management, Mr. Andronicus Adeyemo, said the 150 beneficiaries were those who lived within 150-metre radius of the crash site. According to him, the project was also supported by the International Red Cross, Red Crescent Societies.
He said, “Those are the people we are donating to today. Most of them lost properties to looters after the crash. The houses of some were damaged by the impact. We just want them to have a feel that they are not alone and we are concerned about them. “The Netherland Red Cross’ Psychosocial Technical Reference Centre would be sending experts to Nigeria soon to counsel those of our members who took part in the evacuation of dead victims. “When that is done, they will move on to the counselling of victims who live in the vicinity of the crash site, to help them cope psychologically. It’s a healing process.”
Lagos Chairman of the NRC, Mr. Mobolaji Onibudo, said apart from The Netherlands, others countries like Canada had promised to help. The victims were full of appreciation, calling on other concerned agencies to come their aid. One of the victims, Chigozie Ijoma, said, “I’ve been surviving on the cash donations of some legislators who visited the site after the crash.
“I lost everything in that crash and you can imagine what a blessing these materials donated are to me.” Another beneficiary, Mr. Martin Olatunji, said it was regrettable that the NRC had taken up what ought to be government’s responsibility.