NYERI, Kenya Jul 8 – Nyeri County has aquired two firefighting engines replacing three that developed mechanical problems about two months ago.
Speaking when he unveiled the new equipment at Whispers Park in Nyeri, Governor Mutahi Kahiga stated that the fire engines were acquired at a cost of Sh100 million.
The county boss said they will enhance Nyeri’s firefighting capacity and disaster preparedness.
Kahiga said the machines were imported from Austria by Pewin Motors in Nairobi who were contracted by the county and will now bring to four the number of working engines in the county.
“The two new fire engines will now bring to four the number of working machines that will greatly help to mitigate against frequent sporadic fires that we encounter daily,” the county boss noted.
He said that 11 trained and qualified personnel have been employed to ensure they do their work diligently stating that they inherited some staff from the previous regime that did not have the know-how to handle the machines.
Kahiga also pleaded with the drivers of the new fire engines to be extra careful saying that some drivers who have been hired by the county to drive the fire engines are reckless.
“It’s very annoying to see one of the drivers hired by the county causing an accident within a few hours. I urge the drivers to be extra careful and maintain the engines as if they are their own,” he said
In September 2015, a fire engine lost control and killed two people at Thunguma area as it responded to an emergency.
Nyeri County Disaster Response Unit had a chance to demonstrate how to respond to a fire incident where they urged people to avoid milling around a scene to pave way for the fire engines.
Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu urged the drivers of the fire engines to avoid going to work while drunk noting that one of the engines had an accident in 2015 killing two people.
Nyeri County Commissioner Yatich Kipkemei called on the county government to set up a department to handle emergency issues saying he will allocate police officers to the department to ensure they maintain law and order.
“Disaster is a very serious issue and it should be handled by both county and national government. I urge the county government to set up a department to handle emergency and disaster issues,” he said
Early last month, Kamuyu residents in the outskirts of Nyeri town were forced to use manual means to extinguish a fire that razed more than 30 houses due to lack of firefighting engines.