Harmattan: NEMA Sensitizes Wood Sellers on Fire Prevention
By Baba Martins, Kaduna
Worried about the incessant outbreak of fire disasters in the North, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), North West zone at the weekend took the campaign against fire outbreaks to the Panteka market in Kaduna metropolis.
NEMA said the campaign is to sensitize traders in the market, mainly wood sellers on fire prevention tactics during the harmattan period.
Ishaya Chinoko, North west zonal coordinator of NEMA, said the sensitization became necessary in view of the increasing wave of fire incidents during harmattan in several markets within the zone.
He said, “market fire is a human-induced disaster that exposes victims to risk of injury, death and destruction of properties .
“The simulation exercise is in line with NEMA’s Disaster Risk Reduction response strategies, aimed at reducing fire incidences in the state and the zone.
“Today, NEMA is engaged in proactive emergency management and not reactionary form of emergency management,” he said after a simulation on fire control for the traders.
He also stressed the need for provision of fire extinguishers in markets to quell any fire outbreak and prevent losses by the traders.
Chonoko added that insurance cover would help immensely in securing businesses, especially in times of fire outbreak, and advised the traders to insure their businesses and properties.
On his part, Paul Aboi, Director, Kaduna State Fire Service, advised the traders to take precautionary measures when burning refuse or keeping warm as such practices lead to fire out break.
He said most fire incidences in the market where due to carelessness and negligence.
The director reminded the traders on the need to follow simple burning exercises and take precautions when burning anything outside.
“We have had series of fire incidents and people need to be vigilant, people should just play safe, and use a lot of caution if they are going to be using anything outside with an open flame; we ask that they ensure they put out the fire,” he said.
He also said the limited risk of fire was not the most critical warning but it was significant, “We do have a higher fire danger during the harmattan as it comes with winds.
“Given the conditions, we would not recommend any outside burning, people should please continue to take all the usual precautions,” he said.