#Editorial

Inferno at Serrekunda market again!

May 20, 2022, 10:49 AM

Poor illegal connections and worn-out cables accounts for most of the country’s urban market fire disasters.

There is greater need for greater advocacy on electrical safety for the market especially on the developed and approved national electrical wiring standards to minimise fire outbreaks in the country.

It is in the news that a blazing inferno on late Wednesday evening at the busy Serrekunda markets has consumed materials worth over one million dalasi, injuring one.

This rather unfortunate incident occurred at a time when most traders are closing from work. The cause of the inferno still remains unknown.

But what is really interesting is that inferno at this biggest urban market has now become an annual affair.

Every year valuable materials worth in the millions perish at this market due to poor or illegal connections.

The question is what are authorities doing to avert future occurrence of market fire outbreaks? It is high time authorities put in place mechanisms to avoid future market disasters.

To avert future fire disasters, there is a need for market authorities to mount a thorough investigation and clampdown on illegal connections and poor wiring at the market settings.

Until then, these unfortunate incidents would continue to pose serious threats to the growth of businesses and even the economy of the country. Let’s act now before it is too late.

Market fire outbreaks have a great impact on the country’s socio-economic development and even environmental settings.

Authorities and stakeholders such The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services and even communities at large should start identifying water drawing points also known as fire hydrants at certain locations in the inner city to enable firefighters respond on time in the event of fire outbreaks.

Annually millions of valuables are lost due to late arrival, absence or lack of fire-fighting equipment installed in commercial establishments to urgently respond to fire.

The availability of fire hydrants, fitted at street locations could help greatly in fitting fire disasters in the community. However, lack of these facilities could make our collective efforts to fight fire a herculean task.

 

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