Ahafo Region suffers 136 fires in 10 months

The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in the Ahafo Region recorded a total of 136 fire cases within ten months last year.

Giving the breakdown, Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO), Mr Frederick Ohemeng, the Regional Fire Officer, said his outfit recorded 54 bush fires, 42 domestic, eight commercial, 12 industrial, 14 vehicular, two institutional, three refuse dump and one electrical installation fires.

Speaking with the Ghanaian Times here at Goaso in the region, he said the GNFS, from March to December, 2020, helped to protect lives and properties through education and proactive approaches.

Mr Ohemeng noted that the region had five stations at Goaso, Hwediem, Kenyasi, Duayaw-Nkwanta and Bechem, adding, “plans were far advanced to open new stations at Kukuom and Mim to boost efforts to combat fire”.

He said the GNFS initiated a house-to-house approach to educate residents directly about precautionary measures, explaining, “it was piloted at Goaso and the response was positive”.

“We embarked on a radio tour across the region to sensitise residents on preventive measures and how to manage ‘small’ fires in households and workplaces before the GNFS could intervene,” the fire officer said.

ACFO Ohemeng attributed the low numbers of bushfires to the formation of the Anti-Bushfire Squad (ABS) in the local communities, elaborating that “members of ABS were farmers and were mandated to protect forests and farmlands against fire.”

He observed that most of the fire cases were caused by fake cables and shoddy work of unprofessional electricians, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) leakages, and electrical faults, with some of them spreading or intensifying due to lack of fire extinguishers.

Others were the activities of rodents in households and workplaces, sawmill operators, charcoal burners, palm-wine tappers, smokers, loggers and farmers among others.

He implored residents to strictly adhere to all fire safety protocols as the harmattan intensified; fix fire extinguishers; use Energy Commission-certified electricians; do routine maintenance of vehicles; and replace worn-out electrical materials.

ACFO appealed to residents to understand and forgive the GNFS on the unfortunate incident which happened at Acherensua, where their fire engine’s water pump developed a fault on an arrival at a fire scene, saying “we work with machines and anything could happen anytime”.

He assured of the readiness of GNFS to help combat fire in 2021 and solicited support from stakeholders in the region to collaborate with the service.

FROM EMMANUEL ADU GYAMFI, GOASO

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