Upper West: GNFS worried about the spate of fire incidents 

Upper West: GNFS worried about the spate of fire incidents 

The Ghana National Fire Service in the Upper West Region is worried about the spate of fire incidents at senior high schools (SHS) across the region and has asked that school authorities take fire safety precautions more seriously.

The Public Relations Officer of the GNFS in the region, Divisional Fire Officer III (DOIII), Martin Bakobie Wa who expressed the concern in an interview, mentioned that six separate fire incidents at three senior high schools within one month called for immediate attention to fire safety in the schools.

The first three incidents he said occurred at the Wa Senior High Technical School (SHTS) in a space of 72 hours, destroying about six rooms on the girls’ dormitory block.

“When the first incident occurred at the school we were still trying to figure out the cause, then the second occurred, then the third, within 48 hours so that some affected students were made to go home”, he said.

DOIII Bakobie said the last incident occurred at the Ullo Senior High School at Jirapa where over 5,000 exercise and textbooks, among other stationery burnt to ashes when the store room and dining hall of the school caught fire.

He mentioned that other items which included food commodities such as maize, vegetables and sugar meant for the students got burnt in the fire, leaving the school children very distraught.

“This fire incident comes a week after a previous incident at the Eremon Senior High Technical School (SHTS) in the Lawra Municipality where six classrooms and a twin-dormitory block were razed down”, he said.

The PRO noted with concern that 170 students at the Eremon SHTS were displaced whereas 154 of the displaced students lost virtually everything to the fire.

He mentioned that student bunk metal beds, student mattresses, chop boxes containing groceries, uniforms, trunks and other personal effects were all lost in the flames, leaving the students very devastated.

“We had to dispatch two fire pumps; one from the Jirapa fire station and the other from Lawra to help bring the fire under control after nearly two hours of trying to quench the flames”, he said.

He mentioned that they were investigating the various fire incidents but appealed to the authorities of senior high schools across the region to take precautionary measures to forestall accidental fires.

He encouraged them to allow for regular fire education, acquire fire extinguishers and also repair and replace faulty electrical wires, switches, and lamp holders, among others to help reduce the incidents.


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