The Ghana National Fire Service in the Upper West region, have appealed to municipal and district assemblies to provide the various fire stations with mechanized boreholes and storage facilities. According to statistics from the Upper West regional fire office, about 95% of fire fighting in the region involves the use of water. However, the scarcity of water remains one of the biggest challenges of the service in the region.
Speaking exclusively to W93.5FM, the public relations officer for the Upper West regional fire service Mr Martin Bakobie, confirmed that access and proximity of a water source is a major challenge in fighting fire especially in the Wa municipality. Mr Bakobie recounted several instances where officials had to draw water from the “Wadie dam” which is several kilometers away.
Mr Bakobie therefore appealed to municipal and district assemblies in the region to provide the various fire stations with mechanized boreholes and storage facilities to enable the service attend to fires promptly and more effectively. “I appeal to all municipal and district assemblies to prioritize the provision of mechanized boreholes with storage facilities for the fire stations within their assemblies”
It is regrettable to know that the Wa Municipality has only one non-functional water hydrant, contrary to the international practice of one water hydrant every 100meters along major routes.
The Upper West regional commander of the Ghana National fire service ACFO Napoleon Gadial expressed satisfaction over the level of cooperation from the public, particularly with regards to prank calls. “We have not received any false alarm in the region for the past two years”. This he attributed to the public sensitization carried out by the service over the years.
ACFO Gadial However refused claims by a section of the public that the fire service attends to fire scenes late and sometimes with empty fire tenders. “Firefighting is a collective responsibility which requires the support of stakeholders like the general public, Ghana Water Company, town and country planning, assemblies etc.” He therefore called on the public to give relevant and timely information to help the service deliver on its mandate of protecting lives and properties.
It will be recalled that on 8th January, 2019 some artisans at the Wa magazine allegedly denied a fire tender entry into the magazine and even pelted officials of the Ghana National Fire service with stones over what they describe as a late response to a fire scene.