Reporter : CHRISTIAN NWANGENE
Residents of Enugu State have been advised to take the lead in the campaign against fire out break, especially now the environment is becoming dry due to harmattan.
This is to achieve zero fire outbreak in the area during this period.
The Chief Fire Officer, Enugu State Fire Service, Mr. Okwudiri Ohaa, made the appeal during sensitization of traders to fire safety tips at Orie Orba Market in Udenu Local Government Area, and Ikpa Commodity Market, Nsukka.
The Chief Fire Officer, advised traders and house owners to ensure, always, unrestricted access in and around buildings and markets to curtail fire disasters.
According to Ohaa, easy access will enable fire fighters to put out fire quickly when they break out.
“Where we will need the citizens to improve more especially, the leadership of the markets, is on the accessibility of the markets, because inasmuch as they are making good use of the fire fighting equipment that was installed in the markets last year, we still have problem in accessing the markets.
“Any market we have visited, we always have problem of our vehicles entring the market. And at times, it sounds as if the leadership are not prepared when we get to the markets.
“Again, State Government’s support has been helping us to perform maximally. It I s not that we have gotten where we need to be because for a long neglect of Fire Service, which has been turned around by this current government, we still have a long way to go,” the State Chief Fire Officer hinted.
Mr. Ohaa said government was paying particular attention to markets in the state to avoid economic waste that would be suffered in the event of fire outbreak.
In a presentation, the State Operation Officer, Enugu State Fire Service, Mr. Kenneth Ngwu, said people should be careful in handling inmflamable materials as harmattan had begun, cautioning against careless acts, including indiscrimate setting of materials on fire and not properly putting off the light in the cigarette before discarding it.
Mr. Ngwu, also noted that playing of knock out, indiscrimate shooting of fireworks, and other activities that trigger fire out break should be jettisoned to check fire incident.
Responding, the Chairman, Orie Orba Market, Mr. Charles Ezeugwu, commended the State Government for sensitization against fire outbreak and pledged to further sensitize traders to take necessary safety measures required in the markets.
The Chief Fire Officer also addressed Presidents General from Enugu North Senatorial Zone on various precautionry measures to check fire disaster in the communities.
Thirty-eight of the forty-four markets identified for sensitization had been visited, while traders in those markets had been trained on how to handle some of the fire fighting equipment provided to them by the State Government.