The entire Tema New-Town area has no water hydrants and stands the risk of losing properties in case of fire outbreaks.
Personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) get water supply from Sakumono, Community 8, Industrial Area, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) or the Tema GNFS Regional Office to fill their tenders when they run out of water during the dousing of fires and that depends on the availability of water in the hydrants at the aforementioned places.
The Tema New-Town Fire Station Officer, Divisional Officer I (DOI) Percy Nii Odoi Annang, disclosed this to the Ghanaian Times on Friday during a fire safety week celebration and an open day to educate the public on fire safety practices and prevention.
He described the situation as dire, as the densely-populated town with a vibrant market, businesses and settlements could not boast of a single hydrant.
To prevent destruction of properties while they go looking for water at those places, DO I Annang said they usually called for back-up depending on the magnitude of the incident to help salvage the situation.
Linking the unavailability of hydrants to the public perception that sometimes their tenders did not contain water, he explained that the tenders could only carry certain volumes of water which would need to be replenished after a short time.
Hence the shortage of water in the tenders should not be misconstrued by residents that their tenders do not carry water at all in times of crisis.
He said the GNFS had written letters to the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and engaged the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for their co-operation in the provision of hydrants in the Tema New-Town area.
The occasion provided the opportunity for students and some members of the public to acquaint themselves with the operations of the GNFS’ basic fire extinguishing techniques, fire safety adherence, names and uses of the tools and equipment of the service.
Such continuous fire safety education, according to DO I Annang, had contributed significantly to a reduction in fire incidents in the area, which is noted for rampant fire outbreaks.
He expressed hope that through such public engagements, there could be zero tolerance for fire outbreaks as that remained his personal target as well as that of the regional command.
FROM KEN AFEDZI, TEMA