By Tony Wafula
The Bungoma County government plans to put up two firefighting stations in two constituencies of Mt. Elgon and Tongaren respectively. Speaking in Bungoma town yesterday during the International Firefighters Day, Caren Wanyonyi, director of special programs said that in the past schools in the county have experienced fire outbreaks and it has been hard to control due to inadequate machines.
However, Ms. Wanyonyi noted that currently, Bungoma has only one fire station that is serving the entire county saying that if two stations are established it will help serve the locals during the fire outbreak incidents. “We have been struggling with this one fire station, before this year comes to an end we would have established two other fire stations in Mt. Elgon and Tongaren so that service delivery can be brought closer to the locals,” she said.
She pointed out that the Kanduyi fire station is equipped but providing quick services in far Constituencies like Tongaren is quite hard. “Tongaren is a constituency that is far from Bungoma town that is why I’m fighting for them to get a fire station that will help dispense services to the residents during crisis times,” she said.
In addition, Ms Wanyonyi said that apart from putting off fire outbreaks in schools, supermarkets, people’s homesteads, markets and church premises, firefighters play a critical role during tragic road accidents and heavy floods. She added that her office works closely with the Red Cross office during calamities.
She also called on those owning huge business premises in Bungoma town to ensure that it has fire extinguishers that will help put off a fire outbreak saying that it is the work of an individual to try his efforts to put off the fire before the arrival of firefighters. “Let us always prepare to fight fire any time and any day, those running big businesses in towns ensure you have our hotlines,” she said.
The director said that currently, her office is offering training to the public residing along the Webuye- Malaba highway to sensitize them on the dangers of moving closer to petroleum truck transporters when involved in an accident.
“Early this week there is an accident that occurred at Buema along that involved a petroleum tanker and the locals residing in those areas were moving closer with a target of sucking petrol this means that our people needs civic education on this,” she said, noting that if a fire sparks out them many people will lose lives. Ms Wanyonyi said that she has instructed experts from her office to move around the perceived fire hotspots and educate the public on the dangers of fire outbreaks adding that her office is also working with fire experts from established organizations to educate the public.