Ghana– A ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a fire station at Nsoatre in the Sunyani West District, has been hailed by residents as a proactive step in bringing fire-fighting closer to the food-producing area, which has a high record of ravaging fires.
Mr. Justice Samuel Adjei, the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, who performed the sod- cutting on Friday at Nsoatre said everything needed to be done to curb the rising fire incidences which bring in its wake human fatalities, destruction of food crops, farmlands and other properties, in the predominantly farming area.
As a result of the high incidence of fires in the District many people were losing interest in farming because farmers affected by fire disasters, are unable to pay back the loans acquired from the Banks to finance their farming activities, he added.
Ms. Agnes Kusi, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sunyani West said the construction of the fire station was very important because many acres of farms and farmlands in the area were destroyed through bush fires in 2015.
She attributed some of the causes of fires to late arrival of fire tenders from the Sunyani fire station to the fire scenes, due to the long distance between Sunyani, the regional capital and Nsoatre.
He DCE charged fire officers who would work in the office to increase fire station adding prevention is better than cure.
Ms Kusi who did not disclose the cost of the project and where it was receiving funding, said it would have facilities for four offices, crew room, a store, toilet and garage and would be completed within six months.
The Regional Director of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO) Augustine Tony Gomez, expressed worry that the alarming rate of fire disasters despite the regular fire education on local FM Radio Stations in the Region.
He appealed to all stakeholders to assist the Service in the crusade to control the hazard in the Region.
Later Ms. Kusi inaugurated a kitchen and a five-seater toilet facility built by the District Assembly for the Nsoatre Vocational/Technical Institute.
As temperature soars well above forties and the State reels under severe scorching hot weather not only the people but also the wildlife are being badly affected as reports of severe wild fires in several forests in the State has been reported, sources said.
As per official sources, at least 750 forest areas have caught fire in the last fortnight or so which has resulted in destruction of diverse species of trees and wildlife. Such a severe revelation has been provided to the State Government by the Forest Survey of India. It has said that districts which have been affected by such wildfires are Kandhamal, Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Balasore, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Khurda, Cuttack, Angul, Koraput and Malkangiri.
But most important point is that before the administration is able to douse fires at one place, forests at other places catch fire. Sources said at least 15 places have caught fire on Friday in Sambalpur, Keonjhar and Kandhamal districts. Adding to the misery is the fact that the Fire Brigade does not have adequate fire fighting personnel and equipment to cater to any emergency needs that may arise.
Moreover, the local Meteorological Department said that there is no possibility of any rain for the next week or so. Besides, a senior forest official said many a time such wild fires are result of human mischief.
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