Liberia: Lack of Electricity Causes Rampant Fire Incidents

By:  Augustine N. Myers – Latest statistics from the National Fire Service Bureau of Liberia have disclosed that a total of nine thousand, and eleven (9,011) structures have been destroyed over the past five years in separate fire incidents across the Country.

According to the statistics, most of the fire incidents occurred in the Capital, Monrovia and its suburbs.

Releasing the figure Tuesday in Monrovia, the Director of the National Fire Service Bureau, Mr. Warsuwah Barvoul blamed most of the fire disasters on the careless handling of candles due to the lack of electricity.

The Liberian Government is yet to provide electricity for public use, since the destruction of the National Hydro, “the Mount Coffey Hydro Plant” which was badly damaged as the result of the 14 years of civil crisis fought in Liberia.

Mr. Barvoul also named the storing of combustible items in houses, fire coal, faulty wiring and privately owned generators as other issues responsible for the increase in fire incidents in Monrovia and other parts of the Country.

According to him, these fire incidents have occurred and continue to occur due to the ignorance and carelessness of some citizens and residents.

The National Fire Service Bureau Boss called for the enhancement of fire prevention and safety in Liberia.

Making reference to the prospects and challenges Liberia has to curtail the rise in fire incidents, Mr. Barvoul stressed that dealing with fire disaster is a challenge the Nation is faced with.

He said as the statutory Body responsible to deal with the issue, the Bureau is of the conviction that the direction or way forward is intended to evaluate the current situation carefully, and identify the challenges and opportunities and develop an Action Plan or steps to reverse the frequent occurrences of fire incidents in the Country.

He pointed out that it was against the backdrop that the National Fire Service Bureau has developed a five-year Strategic Action Plan, which takes into account the Bureau’s current state of affairs in terms of where it wants to be in the next five years and how it intends to deal with the issue.

Mr. Barvoul stressed that the Bureau believes that this Plan would safeguard lives and properties of all the people living within the borders of the Republic of Liberia, and to promote fire prevention services, among others.

He stressed that given the fact that the issue of fire is no one man’s business, what is prudent to do is to fight the fire before it occurs. He added that against this backdrop, massive public awareness is needed in lieu of the prevention and setting in place appropriate measure that will minimize the outbreak of fire.

Mr. Barvoul said, in order to achieve this goal the Bureau has taken its fire preventive campaign to the community since he took over June this year.