CONCERNS RAISED by Members of Parliament regarding the decentralisation of fire fighting services should be addressed urgently.
Over the last six months, we have had 38 cases of fire outbreaks in the country while last year Police recorded 84 cases. In all these incidents, property worth millions of francs was destroyed.
Over the last few days, we had two serious fire incidents. Fire gutted Muhanga Prison on Monday and a few days before a commercial complex in downtown Kigali was also affected by fire.
It took getting a fire-fighting truck from Kigali to put out the fire at the Muhanga prison and because of the distance from Kigali to Muhanga little could be done to minimise the damage.
At the pace this country is developing, we need to have fire-fighting services spread out across the country to ensure timely intervention in case of a fire outbreak anywhere in the country.
The government is in the process of procuring more fire fighting trucks to ensure that each province has a truck but this is still not enough. Each district should have a fire fighting truck complete with a fire-fighting team.
This can be possible without government having to dig deep into the state coffers. Just involve the private sector, which has been cooperative towards all national causes.
If owners of commercial buildings in a given district are requested to contribute towards maintenance of the trucks, fire fighting services will be brought closer to the people.