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NEMA partners market authorities, others on fire prevention strategies

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it has intensified collaborative efforts with traders, market authorities and other stakeholders on the precautionary measures against fire outbreaks.

The Acting Zonal Head, NEMA Operation Office Sokoto, Dr Kofoworola Soleye, said this at a sensitisation campaign on fire prevention strategies at Sokoto Central Market on Thursday.

Soleye who was represented by Mr Tukur Abubakar, Unit Head of Planning, appealed for maximum support from all stakeholders.

He said the idea of such collaborative efforts was in line with NEMA’s policy thrust which emphasised stakeholders participation.

“This is a proactive approach to disaster management, unlike the popular assumption that NEMA is mainly concerned with relief intervention.

“The agency also give priority to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which a popular concept worldwide that focuses on reducing the risks of disaster ahead of its occurrence,” Soleye said.

According to him, dry season is prompt to fire outbreaks especially around the states in the zone and many people are ignorant of it.

He added that some people were reluctant about occurrence and actions that lead to the incidents couple with the illegal fuel hawkers within the market environs.

“NEMA is mandated to educate and inform the public on Disaster prevention and control measures.

“The market people need to be oriented on the way of preventing the fire and also controlling the fire in case it occurs.

“It will empower them with the required knowledge to reduce the impact or occurrences of fire outbreaks in their shops and homes, ” he said.

He urged shop owners, traders, management and other stakeholders in the market to maximally practice all they learnt from the experts.

The Head of Operations, Sokoto State Fire Service, Mr Mustapha Abubakar, and Public Relations Officer Federal Fire Service Sokoto, Isma’ila Suru, identified congestion and poor road passages as major challenges to fighting infernos within market places.

He expressed concern that fire engines on rescue mission were often obstructed while officers are always being attacked by some people when they arrived late at inferno places.

The officer described the awareness campaign as timely and encouraged more in future for people to understand fire precautions, action during flames and other collaborative efforts.

The Acting General-Manager, Central Market Sokoto, Alhaji Hassan Aliyu, commended NEMA for the exercise and gave assurance of more support to agencies toward ensuring that markets free from fire incidents.

Aliyu urged traders to heed to advice and precautionary measures to prevent infernos which could lead to loss of valuables worth billions of Naira and pledged to educate more traders in other markets.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Malam Nuhu Lawal, the Fire Prevention Officer of Sokoto State Fire Service led demonstrations on handling fire incidents and the needed gadgets within premises.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Isaac Aregbesola

Contact US: editor[at]nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247[at]gmail.com

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