IN efforts to control frequent outbreak of fires in homes and tourists’ hotels, authorities in Zanzibar have called for improved preparedness.
Regional Commissioner (RC) for Unguja South Region Mr Rashid Hadid Rashid has instructed Fire & Rescue Special Department, Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (ZECO) and Zanzibar Disaster Management Commission (ZDMC) to develop a mechanism to provide regular education on fire preparedness and response techniques to hotel investors to reduce the risk of disasters.
“We need to increase public awareness to minimise risks,” said RC Rashid after leading a mission last Sunday to comfort residents and owners of Pongwe Beach Resort, which was gutted by fire.
The inferno burnt parts of the resort including kitchen, guest lounge, rooftop, and some of the rooms.
The RC insisted the need enhancing disaster preparedness, saying the move would help identify the appropriate methods and measures to be taken once disasters strike.
“It is we devise strategies to prevent fire disasters. You must also be careful when using electricity and gas to minimise risks of fire,” Mr Rashid said, while urging the owners of the recently burned hotel, to be patient as the government was taking necessary measures to control disasters.
The Regional Police Commander (RPC) for Unguja South Region Gaudianus Kamugisha said in the accident at total of 15 rooms were burnt.
“Fortunately there were no casualties from the disaster. We had a quick response in collaboration with fire fighters, but we need to work together to develop effective strategies to help address the disasters that have been undermining the economic growth of investors and the nation as a whole,” he said.
Eye witnesses– John Misholo and Mohamed Idrisa Kasimu explained that the fire started from a cabin outside the hotel and spread because of strong winds in the evening.
Last month, fire gutted five tourist hotels in the village of Paje in the same region, destroying properties.