Government has been called upon to construct more fire hydrants across vantage points in some Districts of the Upper East region, to make water supply readily available for effective fire control.
Fire hydrant is a component of active fire protection and a connection point by which firefighters can tap into or easily access water supply especially during fire outbreaks.
The call was made by the Regional Commander of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), George Asante Wiafe, during an interview in Bolgatanga.
“Inadequate fire hydrants at vantage points have been identified particularly in the various Districts of the Upper East Region, affecting the efforts of fire personnel adversely during firefighting.”
The Regional Fire Commander, explained that Bolgatanga Municipality has 18 hydrants, 8 are functional with only one stationed at the regional office; Bawku has 6, three are working; Navrongo has 3, one is good; Sandema has 4, two are working; and Paga only one, which is out of use.
In all, 32 hydrants are in the region, constructed in the three Municipalities and two Districts with 14 of them in good condition, the rest of the 11 District have none.
He stated that, this makes it difficult for them to supply water to all the other areas. He added that, most of the districts have to travel from their stations to the regional capital to access water whenever there is fire outbreak and this hinders their efforts to save lives and properties.
Speaking to Radio Ghana, the Regional Commander, George Ashanti Wiafe, stated that over the last three years, the region has experienced a decline with 311, 287, and 166 in fire cases, in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively due to their proactive and intensive education.
Mr. Wiafe explained how the Service plans to engage with the appropriate stakeholders to improve their service. He stated that, the service is in talks with Ghana Water Company Limited and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency if it could consider constructing fire hydrants in the districts, it would effectively boost the activities of the service and lots of lives and properties would be saved.
Mr. Wiafe indicated that this year, the service wants to engage the Municipal and District Assemblies, the Ghana Water Company Limited and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency to see if they could construct mechanised boreholes as fire hydrants at the various fire stations for the fire fighters to easily access water to fight fires.
He added that, aside non-compliance from members of the public, lack of fire hydrants have been their biggest problems when fighting fire.
He also appealed to institutions to endeavor to have fire hydrants to help the Fire Service have easy access to sustainable water during fire outbreaks.
He appealed to those who own mechanised bore holes to make provisions for fire tenders in case of emergencies.
The Regional Commander explained that, the service is determined to reduce fire cases in 2020 and called for effective collaboration from the all stakeholders especially the members of the public to prioritise their safety by taking fire safety measures seriously.
Mr Wiafe said, his outfit would further engage the chiefs and members of the communities especially fire prone communities, using durbars to drum home fire safety protection and prevention in this dry season especially bush fires.
He advised Ghanaians to always to contact the fire service first if there is any accident instead of the Ghana Police Service because they were trained to rescue people from such circumstance.
Story filed by Emmanuel Akayeti.