Upper West Region has recorded an increase in fire incidents from 178 recorded in 2016 to 204 in 2017, representing a 15 percentage increase.
Domestic fires topped the list with 79 reported incidents followed by bush fires, which accounted for 46 reported cases while commercial and electrical fires recorded 19 incidents each.
The rest are 18 vehicular fires, 12 accident fires, nine industrial fires and two institutional fires.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO) James Emmanuel Quao, the Upper West Regional Commander of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), disclosed this during the maiden WASSA celebration at the Headquarters of the Regional Command in Wa.
ACFO Quao cited citizen’s apathy in heeding to fire safety advice, late reporting of fire outbreaks and indiscriminate bush burning as few of the several challenges confronting the service in the Region, adding that the command had also mapped out strategies to address those challenges.
He said with support from various benevolent individuals, organisations and businesses, coupled with voluntary contributions from personnel, the command had embarked on a self-initiated project since November 2016, which was at the lintel level.
ACFO Quao noted that the project comprised a canteen, gym and a conference hall, hinting that it would provide for the messing and catering needs of personnel as well as enabling them to keep fit.
He announced that the command would also open a model clinic within the confines of the Regional Headquarters building to cater for the health needs of personnel and their families as well as citizens and organisations within the catchment area.
“This is being done in partnership with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) with support from private individuals and organisations as well as other stakeholders,” he said.
He noted that the Ambulance Service, among other things, had already donated some medical equipment to that effect, announcing that the facility would be operational by the end of February 2018.
ACFO Quao noted that while the canteen, gym and conference facility was the first of its kind in the country, the model clinic would also be the first of its kind in the Region.
He assured citizens of the readiness and commitment of the Service to deliver on its mandate and appealed for effective stakeholder collaboration to it to achieve its objectives.
Alhaji Abubakar Abdulai, the Regional Coordinating Director who represented the Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, commended the men and women of the Service for the display of professionalism any time they were called to duty, adding that such professionalism had helped saved lives and property in most cases.
He said the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) was doing its best to address some of the security challenges in the Region through the establishment of a Regional Security Fund and appealed to all to contribute to the fund to support the maintenance of security.