The Fire Department of Nairobi City Council has shown some improvement. This is shown by the latest incidents of fire in the Central Business District. Over the years, the department had relaxed and was of no use to many of the residents.
On Monday 4th September, a building caught fire in the city centre of Nairobi. It is after about 30 minutes that the fire engines arrived. The building that was burning was about 500 metres from the dept. When they arrived, they helped put the fire out but the biggest problem was that their equipments were in a mess.
The water pipe had holes leading to great loss of water. What they need to do is replace the faulty equipments.
The incident happened on Monday 4th September this year 2006. It took place at Nairobi Gilfillan House which came less than a week after part of International House was destroyed by fire. This has been one of the challenges that the Nairobi Fire Dept has been facing. Along side faulty equipments, the recent fire incidents in Nairobi have totally exposed how relaxed the department is. This also shows their weaknesses in the City Council’s ability to deal with fire effectively.
Such events have caused and taken a lot of lives in the recent past. It is the City Councils responsibility to be capable of improving its services to the people. All this can not be done in a fortnight, but there are minor things like the one that forced me to bring it out and clear, water pipes. It is very irritating to see the water pipes leaking in an event like this. Some of the leaks are big that one might think they have been placed there purposely.
During the above incident, I was around Nairobi city. It was around 8.00 pm in the evening, to my surprise, I saw a huge blanket of smoke above Gilfillan House. I rushed there and found out it was another fire incident. People had already started gathering around. A man was trying to rescue some two women who were on the second floor. He was using bedsheets tied together to make a rope. This looked dangerous and the people told him not to because it was not strong to carry the weight.
As the fire engines started to arrive, people made way for them. It took sometime again before they could get a rope and save the two women. They first used ladders and placed the on a small roof that was just about to fall. Being in a position like mine, where you are taking pictures, you will definitely agree that there is some relaxity among those who work under this department.
Though no lives were lost, people lost property worth thousands of shillings. It is through help from different people and companies that deal with fire that the fire incidents around Nairobi is overcome.