By: Prudence Okonna

In order to forestall the risk of fire outbreaks characterized by the dry season, the FCT Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, has extended its fire disaster response sensitization to the Kubwa axis of the Nation’s Capital.

The Acting Director, Forecasting Response, and Mitigation, FEMA,  Florence Wenegieme during a sensitization visit to the Maitama Ultra Modern Market, Kubwa also known as the Kubwa Village Market, on Thursday said the sensitization was a priority of the FCT Administration in order to create ample awareness among residents of the FCT and reduce the eventuality of fire outbreaks.

According to the Acting Director, the visit to the Market is a continuation of the dry season sensitization, based on the directive and support of the Minister of the FCT, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello.
She added that the sensitization commenced in November 2022 and has been taken to different locations, especially markets.

Identifying some of the risk factors to be avoided, Wenegieme said storing and selling petroleum products in shops and under high-tension wires, burning refuse without supervision, putting on electrical appliances when not in use overnight, sleeping and cooking in the markets, using mobile phones close to Generators and other flammable products, among others could trigger fire outbreaks.

While commending the Market Association for putting up some mitigating measures, she, however, noted with dismay some of the practices noticed in and around the market such as the sale of petroleum of products under High-tension wires, and the burning of refuse without supervision that should be stopped forthwith.

Additionally, the Market Association needed to do more by providing additional fire extinguishers around the market to be able to meet up with the capacity of the market in the eventuality of any fire accident.

She also noted that from time to time, inspections will be carried out to monitor the activities of the market with the support of their stakeholders like the FCT Fire Service.
The Director, therefore, called on FCT residents to take caution during their daily activities by putting in place mitigating measures that could avert any form of fire outbreak, highlighting that they should make use of the 112 emergency toll-free numbers.

While carrying out the drills and simulations exercise using fire blankets and fire extinguishers, a Fire Superintendent in the FCT Fire Service from the Kubwa Division, Uwadoneh Hope Idorenyin, said as first responders, the people needed to learn the rudiments of putting out a fire in the case of any emergency; adding that having first Aid Emergency fire equipment was a necessity for every home/shop owner as well as offices and not a luxury.

Recall that there was a Fire Explosion on November 5, 2021, at the Kubwa Village Market, alleged to have been caused by a phone used by a kerosene seller, which left several shops burnt and people dead including the seller. The carnage continues to be a reference point for many marketers.