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03.08.2004 Regional News

Poor layout hampering fire fighting UW - Regional Commander

By GNA

Wa, Aug. 3, GNA - Mr Ernest Atoku Aklama, Upper West Regional Commander of Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), has said that while illegal electricity connections accounted for most domestic outbreaks the poor layout of some parts of Wa hamper fire fighting.

"Sometimes we are well-equipped to combat domestic fires but cannot get access to the place of the fire outbreak because of poor layouts that block the roads," Mr Aklama told the Ghana News Agency at Wa, on Monday.

According to him since most of the domestic fires were caused by illegal electricity connections, the GNSF was liasing with the Volta River Authority and the Department of Town and Country Planning to mount a public education programme on the problem.

"It is so painful to look on helplessly during a fire outbreak when you could have combated the outbreak in a matter of seconds," he said. Mr Aklama appealed to district assemblies to support Fire Volunteer Squads to combat fire in their localities.

"Although district assemblies are by law supposed to support fire squads, our assemblies are yet to take up that responsibility," he said.

He said since the new districts in the region, Wechiau and Funsi, were high fire risk areas, the GNFS was collaborating with the Ghana Tourists Board to start fire volunteer squads especially at Wechiau, which had gained international recognition because of the hippopotamus sanctuary there.

"Our aim is to safeguard the animals to serve as a major tourist attraction. We shall do everything possible within our domain to realise that objective," he said.

Mr Aklama commended the World Vision International and the Ghana Private Road Transport Union for their assistance and appealed to other organisations to support the GNFS to reduce fire outbreaks.

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