Rwanda has been developing at a supersonic speed in the last few years. You only need to cast your eye back to 1994 to know where the country has come from.
But whereas development is good, it comes with its challenges that if not handled well in time and well managed, can result into catastrophic consequences.
One of the most dangerous hazards of modern development is fire. I’m inclined to note that Rwanda is terribly ill-prepared in this field.
There has been a number of fire incidents in Kigali this year; notably the burning down of Rwanda National Examination Council (RNEC) building early this year and the recent fire at the Ministry of Education building.
There have also been a few fatal fires in the Akagera National Park, in Eastern Province.
These are warning shots that the government should heed seriously and plan ahead.
If you want to know the destructive power of fire, look at the recent fires in Greece.
With the help of some 20 nations with the most advanced fire-fighting equipments, Greece was able to contain the fires but not before it had wrecked havoc.
Rwanda cannot afford to wait.
Imagine how much money was spent to build the Union Trade Centre. It’s scary to think that that structure can come down crushing in a matter of minutes.
Most fires are caused by day-to-day human carelessness like burning candles, smoking and cooking, but some are caused by criminal acts and modern technology in this wired world.
It’s therefore important that as Rwanda builds its reactive capability to fight fires it should also think of proactive measures to prevent fires, such as community engagement and education programmes.
I hope officials will act before a big catastrophe strikes.