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On recent Kanifing blaze!

Oct 30, 2019, 12:28 PM

Industrial fires and explosions cost companies and governments billions of dollars every year in some countries, not to mention the loss of life, which can’t be described and assessed in monetary terms.

And sometimes, these disasters happen for many reasons, often because managers and employees turn blind eyes to small issues that in the long run could escalate to become a potential disaster.

A devastating blaze on Sunday at the Kanifing Industrial Area, an epic centre and one of The Gambia’s biggest industrial zones, has shocked many.

Though, no lives were lost, the raging blaze consumed a colossal amount of damage. The extent of damage caused is estimated to be in millions.

The blaze that started at a gas depot- Haddim Gas Company, situated in the Kanifing Industrial Area, quickly spread out to the nearby companies, warehouses, and car garages.

Loud explosions, according to eyes witness, could be heard at a distance with thick smoke billowing through the sky.

The actual cause of the blaze remains unknown. However, we wish to salute all those who participated in putting off the fire. The bravery manifested by all those who participated in putting off the raging blaze including the personnel of The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services has been exemplary.

The visit by President Barrow at the site to assess first-hand the level of damage in preparation for the next steps of the government is commendable. He also announced that government will set up a commission of inquiry to look into what had happened in order to establish facts around the cause of the fire and how to avoid future recurrence, is important.

This, we believe would further enable the government to establish the level of damage caused.

Notwithstanding, it is high time government looked into the plight of those compounds situated around Kanifing Industrial Area. Industrial zones and factories are always synonymous with accidents. Often times, we hear of accidents at industrial areas or factories in other countries that are fatal.

Preventive measures should be taken now with regards to the plight of those in residential areas around Kanifing Industrial Area.

Government should also assess the safety standards in place at similar facilities across the country.

We wish to sympathise with those who lost money and properties during this very unfortunate and difficult situation.

“Technology is, of course, a double edged sword. Fire can cook our food but also burn us.“

Jason Silva