On Friday, June 8, 2012, SPACES FOR CHANGE visited the site of the DANA Airlines plane crash to commiserate with the survivors and displaced families; to provide free legal counseling and advisory support; document the impact of the crash on their lives and livelihoods and work together with them to develop a legal strategy for demanding compensation and resettlement.
SPACES FOR CHANGE had extensive discussions with survivors and provided them free on-the-spot legal counseling and advisory services. They learned about their rights as displaced persons, especially the rights to receive compensation and resettlement, and the national and international legal regimes that guarantee those rights. We also educated them on the specific obligations of both the government and the DANA Airline towards them, including the obligations to provide them with full information regarding the crash investigations and insurance policies; opportunities for participation in the design and implementation of the benefit schemes; and the right to propose alternatives to any of the arrangements made for them.
Displaced residents claimed that the Lagos State government forcefully moved them to a relief camp in Ayobo area of Lagos on the day of the incident. Most of them left the camp the following day on the grounds that the relief camp was too distant from their businesses, children’s schools, relatives and community support networks. They also complained about the poor quality of the meals served at the camp.
|Faces of survivors displaced by the plane crash incident.|
Presently, all the survivors – except three small children orphaned by the crash – are staying at the home of a kind-hearted neighbour, Mr. Chike Okwuosa. He presently coordinates relief efforts, and supports their feeding. He vehemently denied claims by Dana Airlines’ Legal Officer suggesting that the airline paid or liaised with him to provide temporary accommodation to victims.”The displaced families are my neighbours. I am doing this out of my own free will”, he told SPACES FOR CHANGE.
|Relief materials donated by DANA Airlines yesterday|
While it is true that some organizations had donated relief materials, survivors were full of complaints about the uncoordinated and chaotic relief distribution methods. Consequently, the actual victims did not benefit. While they eagerly look forward to receiving some relief assistance from the Lagos State government, DANA Airlines donated beddings, food and household supplies to them today, days after the crash.
According to NEMA and LASEMA officials, emergency assistance and rescue efforts failed for the following reasons:
|Bidemi, and another resident narrate their ordeal, and difficult engagement with the Lagos State Government|