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General News | Mar 23, 2004

Major fire hydrants in Accra closed

Chronicle

Forty-four out of the 98 fire hydrants in Accra have been sealed off by the Ghana Water Company Limited, putting the city at great risk in the event of major fire outbreaks.

Officials of the water company said the hydrants were closed because of low pressure in the flow of water.

In emergency situations, personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) said they have had to go through the pain of looking for serviceable hydrants, since the water company allegedly did not inform the service before closing the points.

Some of the major hydrants sealed include the one near the Nyaho Clinic that supplies water to fire fighters during major fire outbreaks and to the residence of the President, the Kotoka International Airport and the University of Ghana.

Also closed are the hydrants that could serve sensitive state institutions like the Castle, Osu and the State House.

The situation, according to fire officers, has jeopardized the activities of the fire service as fire personnel were compelled to go long distances before coming by a serviceable fire hydrant.

They said if immediate steps were not taken to restore the hydrants to use the city would be at great risk in emergency situations.

Speaking to The Chronicle, the District Fire Officer at the Greater Accra regional fire office, DO1, G.T Adams said the public contributed 1% water tax to assist GNFS in fire fighting and that it was unfair to the public when the service failed to respond to their needs.

He called on the GWCL to conduct a proper survey to assess how the closure of hydrants would affect a locality.

“For instance when there is a fire outbreak at Madina, fire personnel have to go about seven miles before coming by a serviceable hydrant, ” he said.

DO1 Adams noted that most of the serviceable hydrants operated on low pressure and this made it difficult to replenish the fire tenders.

He said the water hoses of the fire tenders were short because under normal circumstances, the hydrants should be built 100 metres from each other.

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