County to buy fire engines, says governor

Governor John Nyagarama said that on Monday hen a team of fire-fighters from the United States paid him a courtesy call.

Tuesday February 23 2016

Governor John Nyagarama (wearing a helmet) admires a pair of gum boots donated by a US fire fighting team on February 22, 2016. The boots can withstand high temperatures. PHOTO | CORRESPONDENT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Governor John Nyagarama (wearing a helmet) admires a pair of gum boots donated by a US fire fighting team on February 22, 2016. The boots can withstand high temperatures. PHOTO | CORRESPONDENT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By HENRY NYARORA
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The Nyamira County government will spend Sh40 million to buy two fire-fighting engines.

Governor John Nyagarama said that on Monday hen a team of fire-fighters from the United States paid him a courtesy call.

“Our county has been hit by infernos in the past. When we get these machines and with proper training, we shall have no excuse for not dealing with such tragedies,” Mr Nyagarama said.

The US team is in the county to train the disaster management and response team.

Two weeks ago, property valued at millions of shillings was destroyed when a fire razed stalls at Kebirigo Market, prompting the governor and his top officials to act.

(READ: Blaze prompts fire engine tender advert)

“We need one another and your coming is a blessing to our people,” Mr Nyagarama told the experts in his office.

The team donated radios, helmets, gumboots and jackets to the county government. The members advised against spending millions of shillings to buy large engines and told the devolved government to invest in smaller ones for quick response to disasters.

“We have made an assessment of the fire station and established that you have a water bouser, which can in fact work as a fire engine,” team leader Chief Streich said.

Mr Streich added that instead of using Sh60 million to buy one engine, the government should use money to purchase smaller ones and station them in various sub-counties. In doing so, the county would save more than Sh20 million.

“We have consulted and come to the conclusion that we buy two fire engines valued at Sh40 million,” Mr Nyagarama said, adding that the bouser has a capacity of 10,000 litres.

He said the Kebirigo Market fire could have been contained had residents not been hostile to the rescue team.

“Fire-fighting is a communal affair and our people should stop blame games,” Governor Nyagarama told the team.

The experts will conduct training in the county’s bus stages. The training will incorporate the public which is key in raising alarm and assisting fire-fighters navigate the scene.

The experts encouraged county governments to share resources in case of fires and other emergencies.

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