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Sokoto: A City characterised by frequent fire outbreak

By Ado Hassan, Sokoto

FIRE disaster incidence is one among major negative developments with devastation that affects societal settings.

It sometime leads to lost of lives or property or both due to its magnitude.

It is rampant and commonly experienced ‎during harmattan season which makes it worst and devastating due to the frequent wind. Millions and sometime billions are lost to fire outbreaks.

However, it is mostly attributed to human carelessness, negligence or power voltage inconsistency‎ and sometime natural factors as storm.

All these avoidable errors either by omission or commission, have adversely resulted to various kinds of partial and monumental losses‎ in lives and property of households, business(shops, complexes, filling stations) places and offices. Some lost everything while some escape with a few items.

Sokoto state has its fair share of fire outbreak incidences which are mostly monumental. Amazingly, most incidents of fire outbreak in the state occur between the hours of 4pm to 5pm.

Besides, no fewer than four to five cases is being recorded on daily basis within the metropolis.

This have raised concerns among residents and communities in the state over the alarming rate of fire outbreaks being recorded.

More scary to them is the recent record of 481 outbreaks recorded in the state this year.

Fire outbreak incidents have formed a source of concern to the people of the state as the incidents with frequent occurrence  at market places and business outlets is adversely affecting the state economy base.

Authorities in the state ‎have also not been isolated from expressing their worry despite efforts being carried out to forestall occurrence.

However, disturbed by the the present trends, the state Commissioner Ministry of Home Affairs, Alhaji Sadeeq Isah Achida and the Director General,state Fire Service Department, Allhaji Murtala Muhammad in their separate comments shed more light on the issue, saying plans are on top gear to embark on extensive public  enlightenment campaign as measure to tackle the issue by reducing the trend.

More worrisome is that available records in the Department have shown that eleven people died while properties worth N2.6billion were lost to 481 fire outbreak accidents recorded in  the state metropolis from January to date this year.

However,the fire outbreak involved residential buildings as well as  commercial outlets.

This needs serious and aggressive public enlightenment  on the issue.

The Fire Service Department Boss further said the campaign was necessary considering the higher increase in the  cases of fire outbreak in the state.

According to him, at least four to five cases of fire outbreak incident are being recorded daily in the state.

Muhammad said the campaign which will be  conducted in public places will be extended to the 23 local government areas of the state to enlighten the public on the need to take precaution and respond to outbreaks promptly if it occurs.

This according to him was to complement the state government efforts as it is doing  a lot towards responding to the  cases of fire out breaks.

He said the state government had provided seventeen  powered fire fighting engines, several water tanks and two additional water centres,among others.

He said already,the Tambuwal led administration has approved the establishment of additional eight fire service stations with enough manpower and equipment saying “currently there are four functional fire fighting  stations in Gwadabawa,Wurno,Tambuwal and Bodinga.”

He further disclosed that plans were on to repair all broken down fire engines and water tankers across the 23 local government areas by the ministry in collaboration with the state ministry for local government.

While calling on the people especially mothers to always put off electrical appliances after use to avoid fire outbreak, Muhammad assured that the Department will continue to promptly react to fire outbreak incidents.

He also said that in its efforts to improve the capacity of the fire fighting personnel, the staff were expose to the training in Kano, Abuja and an  in-house training is being organise in the state.

He also attributed the negligence in the handling of electrical appliances as the major causes of fire outbreak in the state.

Muhammad who noted that other causes were natural and intentional, stressed that personnel of the Department were always ready to respond to any fire incident while advising people to always report any fire incident on time and seek experts advise when conducting an electrical  wiring and to avoid using substandard in their projects.

They also expressed dismay on the attitude of some drivers and other public who are reluctant to give way to fire fighting vehicles on duty despite the sound of the siren and described such behaviour as major challenge in fighting fire in the state.

He urged motorists to develop the habit of giving them chance as they were on an urgent mission to safe the lives and properties of people.

Some people interviewed also attributed the non giving out of Zakkat as another important factor contributing to the incessant  fire outbreak incident in various markets in the state.

They therefore call on those who their properties were in animals,materials or cash that falls within the range of Zakkat should strive hard to give away to the deserve it.

They noted in that regards their wealths would have quarantine Allah’s blessings and protections



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