#Article (Archive)

Tragedy Prevention Through Precaution and Education

Feb 10, 2009, 3:45 AM

Yet again in today's national news section of The Point we read of fire disaster, this time in the Upper River Region. Too often in this and other newspapers we read of tragedies of this kind. Thankfully in this case there were no deaths or serious injuries reported, but in other cases we have not been so lucky. The causes of these fires in some cases remain unknown but very often they are caused by preventable issues such as cooking fires not being properly extinguished or flammable liquids not being properly stored. Of course some fires can be said to be unavoidable acts of god and there is little we can do to prevent these, but all others we must work to make a thing of the past. Education and proper safety practice will reduce the instance of fire outbreak to a very large degree and these are the areas we must focus on.In this we do not speak of expensive sensitization courses but merely the application of common sense, as in the case of storing petrol or other flammable materials or extinguishing fires properly. This knowledge can be handed down to the younger members of any community by the elders and we must encourage more of this.

The one positive we take from these terrible experiences is that in every case the community rally around the stricken family and not only help them to put out the blaze and rescue what they can but also support them in the time following the tragedy. They do this by providing food clothing and shelter and this is a true example of the Gambian spirit. We pray that soon the pages of our newspapers will be free of these kinds of stories. If we come together and spread the message of safety then this dream is attainable. To all those affected by these tragedies we pray that you may recover what you have lost and not suffer such misfortune again.

"Think where man's glory most begins and ends, And say my glory was I had such friends."

W.B. Yeats