Fire destroys N98m property, displaces 61 in Cross River
By; Vitalis Ugoh, Calabar.
Property worth over N98 million have been destroyed by fire while 61 persons were displaced within the last 6 months in Cross River State.
The fire disaster which occurred in some local government areas of the state destroyed residential buildings, household property, small scale factories and farms.
Director- General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Mr. John Inaku, disclosed this while assessing fire disaster scenes in Calabar and Obubra Local Government areas.
He regretted the frequency of the phenomenon and described it as very worrisome.
Inaku attributed the disasters to human induced activities such as indiscriminate use of fire, power upsurge from electricity supply and careless exposure of inflammables to combustion.
He advised that in order to check the trend, the consciousness of the dangers of fire outbreak must sink into the mindsets of people.
Inaku lamented that the disaster have not only inflicted heavy economic damage to victim’s families but the immediate community and the state in general.
The Director-General reiterated that the sustained campaign against activities that could culminate in fire outbreaks should be heeded with utmost dedication and commitment.
He used the opportunity to commend the stakeholders of the agency particularly the state fire service for its dexterity in combating fires and called for sustainability.
Presenting relief items which included blankets, towels, buckets, toiletries to victims of the disaster, the Director-General sympathised with them and prayed that those injured should recover fast.
Reacting, a victim of a burnt residential building in Calabar Municipality, Mr. Ikpi Obeteng thanked the Director-General for the magnanimity, lamenting that he lost property worth over N5 million in the inferno.
Obeteng said that his family of 9 have been displaced and were presently squatting with neighbours.
At Ochon in Obubra Local government area where a 24 room apartment was completely raised down, Inaku urged the victims to remain calm as government will seek plausible means of assisting in the rehabilitation of the building.
Mr. Kerian Agbor landlord of the building said that over thirty persons were displaced and their household property were lost in the inferno and appealed to government and other philanthropic organizations to assist in his rehabilitation effort.
Agbor lamented that since the incidents about a week ago where his family members have been sleeping in the open space at this period that the weather is inclement without food, clothing and other essentials of life.
He commended SEMA for the relief materials presented and assured that it will go a long way in cushioning the effects of the disaster.