Ministry enforces fire fighting equipments installation in markets

While the country is grappling with the impact of market fires that are leaving hundreds of vendors and traders destitute, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has started enforcing installation of fire fighting equipments in market across the country.

Ligomea: Fire fighters

Ligomea: Fire fighters

Principal Secretary for the ministry Stuart Ligomeka confirmed of the development, saying the move was arrived at by the ministry’s committee on fires.

“The Ministerial Committee on Fires recommended that all markets should have fire hydrants and extinguishers. Right now councils have started the implementation,” said Ligomeka.

Ligomeka said meanwhile markets in Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Blantyre have started installing the needed fire fighting equipments.  

“From now on all markets constructed will be required to have a design that accommodates fire fighting equipments but also improved accessibility. But councils are also working on installing the equipments in existing markets,” he added.

He said that the councils are working jointly with water boards in implementing the initiative.

Two days ago a market and a bus depot were razed by fire in Mulanje and Mchinji districts respectively.

The fire incidents in the two districts comes a month after another fire gutted down Lilongwe Main Market, burning billions of money in merchandise and left hundreds of vendors destitute.

 The incident has forced government through Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to send three senior officials at Lilongwe City Council on suspension.

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1 thought on “Ministry enforces fire fighting equipments installation in markets”

  1. True Patriot says:

    ‘Ministry enforce’s installation of fire fighting equipment’… my foot! So we are focusing on literally ‘fire fighting’! Instead of concentrating on preventive measures, we are strategizing on dealing with the fires when they breakout!

    Now, when the ministry manages to get every vendor to install fire fighting equipment in their hawking places and, suppose a fire breaks out at night, which is the case in most accidents, who will,for God’s sake, operate these gadgets considering that people don’t sleep in their stores? Or perhaps the ministry will specifically demand for self-activating fire fighting equipment?

    I’ve seen such gadgets in a few places, but admittedly, they are dumb expensive that, obviously, our broke councils can’t afford to procure.

    Now, for the foregoing arguments, our ‘reactive’ ministry should have prioritized preventive rather than corrective measures.

    On the other hand, why has it taken this long to come up with any semblance of action considering that fire incidents have become regular occurrences lately?

    The preventive measures I am touting here are ensuring that people don’t erect shacks for hawking. Ironically, the structures that are being constructed in Lilongwe Market after the recent fire that razed the whole market, appear very temporal and ultimately worse than what was there before.

    This is an opportunity lost. The fire damage should have given us a chance to come up with modern structures that would be compliant with modern safety standards. But alas, we being what we are – a people without direction and strangely always contented with mediocrity, no one really cares!

    Sadly, this action by the line ministry vividly symbolizes the general myopic thinking that, is usually a precursor of a failed state!

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