Kano State Fire Service has disclosed that human lives and properties quantified to worth hundreds of millions of naira were lost to fire outbreaks, drowning and road accidents during the COVID-19 lock down imposed on the state.
The state fire service authorities told Judicial Sketch that the huge losses suffered was due to the huge number of persons who sat back at home to comply with the lock down directives that were been observed in the state.
Public Relations Officer of the Service, Principal Fire Service Superintendent (2), Saidu Muhammad Ibrahim, giving accounts of the activities of the service as related to the period of the total lockdown, which has presently been relaxed by the state government, said the state Service came under pressure owing to the mass demand for their services in various parts of the state, stressing that the demands were spurred by the order for people to stay at home.
He explained that during the period, the state witnessed rise in the use of electrical appliances, as with other household implements that centered on usage of fire.
He said “in the lockdown in Kano state, in April we received 108 fire calls, 54 rescue operations. In the month of May, we received 55 fire calls, 50 rescues. In June, we got also 56 fire calls, 52 rescue calls and 16 lives were lost.
“The COVID-19 situation piled pressure on us. We had to work hard to contain the situation; our men had to work 24/7.
“The situation was so tough since the children don’t go to school or places of business; they pose one of our greatest challenges. Many of the lives lost during the COVID-19 stay-at-home directives were lives of those of children and youths who went to swim in stagnant waters and ponds in and around the metropolis and suburb areas.”
He added that the COVID-19 period had led to the recording of increased cases of people who fell into wells and open waters.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic has alerted the service on the crucial need to embark on mass sensitizations of residents on the dangers associated with fire outbreak and how to handle the situation.
He further revealed that one of the major obstacles during the period was lack of access to the scene of incidence. “In some areas, human and structural obstacle barricades our equipments from getting access to scenes of fire incidence, or getting into other places where various other types of accidents have occurred, that had require our immediate rescue operations.
Supported by CHRICED and MacArtur Foundation.