Another Day! Another Tragedy! Billions worth of Property Lost. That’s how best we would summarize the inferno that razed down Malik Heights building along Ngong road on Monday night.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that one person was injured in the fire that broke out at around 8PM. The greatest damage was however on the businesses operating in the building. The 9-storey building houses a car bazar houses motor vehicle bazaars, offices, restaurants among other commercial premises.
Even though the county government dispatched four fire engines, only two reached the scene due to the heavy traffic along Ngong Road.
This is not the first fire incident we have had in Nairobi and it won’t be the last. It’s also not the first time we have questioned our disaster preparedness, especially during infernos.
Nairobi governor Mike Sonko wants to be praised for his beautification program but he has done very little in the disaster preparation department. Immediately after the fire, the traffic marshals should have cordoned off the road, allowing only emergency vehicles to reach locations.
But that cannot happen because the City Askaris have very little or no knowledge about traffic control. They are goons who have more understanding of how to harass motorists and hawkers.
Whereas the county government has invested heavily in fire engines, very little has been done to empower the personnel manning these machines. It is alleged that apart from the drivers, all the other persons have no training. We should objectively look at our disaster preparation measures.
Nairobi was recently voted as Africa’s leading business travel destination, it would be so embarrassing if we lose out on the opportunities that come with this recognition because we can’t contain disasters.
We know the governor has focused his efforts on the Nairobi regeneration programme and wants us to praise for that, he should know that there is a lot we expect from him. Things like fighting fires.