You are here: HomeNews2010 03 05Article 177963

General News of Friday, 5 March 2010

Source: Statesman

Editorial: Mills Can't Buy Fire Tenders For A Better Ghana?

It was reported on March 4, two days before Ghana's 53rd birthday, that a Committee on High Rise Building had been set up to source funding to purchase two fire tenders that can go beyond three floors for the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).

The committee, Chaired by Mr Kwesi Bentil of the Bank of Ghana, is made up of representatives of Social Security and National Trust properties Department, GNFS, Silver Star Auto Ltd, Agricultural Development Bank, National Insurance Commission, Ghana Association of Bankers and the National Communication Authority.

At a press conference organised by the Committee and the GNFS in Accra on the recent fire outbreaks in the country, Mr Bentil said it had become necessary to get fire tenders for the service to complement government's efforts.

He said the fire that gutted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was a wake-up call for organisations in high rise building, hence the need to look for funding to purchase the tenders valued between $1.5 and $2.0 million. Fire,he noted, would always be around due to human activities and negligence and the best way out was to put in place measures to mitigate its effect should it happen.

It suddenly struck us that perhaps an expenditure of $2m could have saved the Foreign Ministry from moving to the Jubilee House, after being forced to abandon its gutted buildings. But, do we have to set up a committee to find that kind of money?

Was it not this same government that found $3m for Haiti as donation for the earthquake disaster there? Yet, this same government cannot find half of that to avoid future disasters in Ghana!

President Kufuor is truly out of touch with Ghana. He did not even make any serious mention of the spate of fires in his speech. It was an opportunity for him to come up with a comprehensive package or plan to reform the GNFS and related matters such as bringing in legislation to ensure that all public buildings are insured.

But, he did none of that. Instead, he chose to surely go slow on this by bringing out the begging bowl. It is the government's responsibility to equip the fire service and we want the President to not shed this.

This attitude is just too pathetic. The Fire Service has proposed, Mr President, please dispose!