Fire Officer calls on police to expedite prosecution of fire offenders

Fire Officer calls on police to expedite prosecution of fire offenders

11 July 2008

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Ghana — The Sunyani Municipal Fire Officer, Kwasi Baffour-Awuah, has called on the Police Service to speed up prosecution of bushfire offenders and others, who contravene environmental protection bye-laws passed last year, to protect the environment and wildlife.

Mr. Baffour-Awuah, speaking to Brong Ahafo File, was troubled at the rate at which incidences of fire outbreaks in the Region had increased considerably in the second quarter of the year, as compared to that of last year, with bushfires still prevalent.

He disclosed that a total of 30 fire outbreaks, were recorded in the second quarter of this year, as compared with 27 last year, which the breakdown indicates as 11 bushfires, seven domestic fires, four electric fire incidences, among others.

The Municipal Officer stressed that the increase, was as a result of the refusal on the part of individuals, to heed to anti-bushfire measures, and still practice slash and burn agriculture.

Mr. Baffour-Awuah cited improper wiring of buildings, and illegal electrical connections, as well as faulty batteries and welding systems, which causes vehicular fires as contributors towards the increasing rate of fire cases.

According to the Fire Officer, despite all the challenges, the Ghana National Fire Service had made some achievements, and also disclosed that the service, in consultation with the Municipal Assembly, had gazetted a fire law, which has led to the arrest of 28 people, and the prosecution of others.

He continued that 75 per cent of the municipality has been covered in the anti-fire door-to-door educational campaign, while radio talk shows, meant to sensitize the people on the fire menace, have been held.

Mr. Baffour-Awuah mentioned inaccessible roads to market centres, lack of fire hydrants in the newly-created districts, inadequate fire appliances and protective clothing, as some logistical constraints bedeviling the organization.

He said apart from apart from the Sunyani Central Market, several market places have experienced fire outbreaks, as a result of overloaded electrical sockets and cooking in shops, and therefore, advised against such practices.

He appealed to the Ghana Water Company to provide fire hydrants at vantage points, especially in the new districts, to ensure the smooth operation of the service.

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