By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The National Emergency management Agency (NEMA), on Saturday sensitized traders of Panteka Market in Kaduna metropolis on fire prevention during the harmattan.
Ishaya Chinoko, North West Zonal Coordinator of the agency, said the sensitization became necessary in view of the increase in fire incidents during harmattan in several markets within the zone.
According to him, “market fire is human-induced disaster that exposes victims to risk of injury, death and destruction of property.
“The simulation exercise is in line with NEMA’s Disaster Risk Reduction response strategies, also aimed at reducing fire incidences in the state.
“Today, NEMA is engaged in proactive emergency management and not reactionary form of emergency management,” he said after a simulation on fire control.
He 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 property.
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 ordinances 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,” Aboi said.
He 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 descent winds.
“Given the conditions, we still would not recommend any outside burning, people should please continue to take all the usual precautions,” Aboi said.
He said fire must be attended to till it was completely extinguished.