NAIROBI, Kenya, October 17 – The Nairobi Central Business District Association (NCBDA) says there is need for city residents to be educated about fire fighting techniques.
Chairman Timothy Muriuki said on Saturday that this will reduce fatalities which may occur in the event of a fire breakout in the city.
“Ignorance was one of the major causes of disasters that we have suffered most recently. Addressing that gap has a huge impact on preparedness,” he stated.
“We must have more and more people doing fire drills so that its starts from the community,” he further said.
He was speaking during a G4s fire fighter’s graduation ceremony where he urged corporate organisations to train their employees on fire fighting skills.
“I have asked as many companies as possible to address the issue of training not just internally but externally and to take this as a major corporate social responsibility,” Mr Muriuki stated.
During the graduation ceremony, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) recruited 40 new fire fighters.
Red Cross Disaster Risk Reduction Officer Michael Aiyabei explained that the graduants will specialise in fire fighting and responding to disaster within the City.
“The mission is actually to assist in response to fire incidences that may occur within the community where they may be drawn from, we also expect that the bigger role they will be playing is risk reduction,” the KRSC officer said.
He stated that the unit will also be formed in other parts of the country especially in areas susceptible to fire outbreaks.
“The applications that were received were so many but because this is a pilot programme, we only managed to select 38 to train because of the resources,” he observed.
“It is a partnership between Kenya Red Cross and G4S fire and rescue service.”
On September 5 this year, a fire in a village in Lamu district left 2,500 people displaced, 430 houses were burned down with 214 being razed to the ground.
While no deaths were reported, several people sustained injuries, including smoke inhalation.
The incident destroyed houses and assets whose value is in millions of shillings.
Businesses which provide sources of livelihoods to hundreds in the community have also collapsed.
Vulnerable groups, among those affected include 75 lactating mothers, 30 pregnant women, 34 persons with disabilities, 157 elderly persons and 291 children under five years old.
On 31 January this year, an oil spill ignition occurred in Molo, Kenya and resulted in the deaths of at least 113 people and injuring more than 200 more people.
The incident occurred when an oil spill from an overturned truck burst into flames as onlookers attempted to obtain remnants of the spilled fuel for personal use.
Rescuers suggested the cause to be static electricity, an accidentally discarded cigarette, or an individual angered at a police blockade and sought vengeance.
Police described the carnage as Kenya’s worst disaster in recent times, occurring in a country hit by frequent fuel shortages and just days after a supermarket fire killed 25 people.
In June 2009, another similar accident occurred, when an oil tanker fire killed at least four and injured nearly 50 people at Kapokyek village near Kericho.
The victims were siphoning fuel from the tanker that had fallen off the road