The Ashanti Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service is targeting a 60 percent reduction in fire incidents by the close of 2017.
Though the region recorded one hundred and one (101) fire incidents less in January this year as compared to the same period in 2016 (196), the rate according to the regional fire commander DCFO Semekor Fiadzo is still alarming. The Command has therefore stepped up its public fire education, especially in slum areas, to minimize the incidents of domestic, commercial, bush and vehicular fires.
The Ashanti region recorded about eight fire incidents in slum areas within Afful Nkwanta, Asawasi, Suame, and Santasi this year alone. Victims lost property running into thousands of Ghana cedis. The recent fire occurred at Suame Kotoko and Zone B where over 300 residents were displaced. Regional fire commander, DCFO Semekor Fiadzo said investigation so far points to poor electrical wiring and the use of combustible items as causes of the fires in the slum areas.
“We have investigated thoroughly enough to say the cause of the fires in slum areas is narrowed down to electrical fault. The haphazard way in which electrical connections are being done in various slums is worrying. Also, most of them use substandard cables for their wiring. “Again, poor planning of the areas makes it difficult for fire fighters to effectively attend to the fire on time,” he said.
DCFO Fiadzo and his team visited the Dagombaline slum at Afful Nkwanta to educate residents on fire safety measures. This slum was razed by fire early this year but residents have reconstructed their structures without creating vehicular space. A brief tour within the slum revealed poor electrical wiring, Ibrahim observed.
DCFO Fiadzo said an intensified fire safety education is to enable the service achieve the 2017 target of 60 percent reduction of fire incidents in the Ashanti region. He pleaded with the Electricity Company of Ghana and Ghana Water Company Limited to undertake routine checks of illegal connection in slums and also provide water hydrants to communities respectively.
An opinion leader there, Issaka Awudu said they’ve instituted a committee to find way of ensuring that they do not experience fire incident again. “We have resolved to disconnect any illegal electricity connection we find in this slum. Anyone who tries to prove stubborn will be evacuated from this place”.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Semekor Fiadzo, said they will continue to extend their fire safety education to all homes and commercial places until they record zero preventable fire incidents. In January 2016, Ashanti region recorded 196 incidents but the figure has reduced to 95 within the same period this year.
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