The Star (Nairobi)

10 April 2012

Kenya: Naivasha Fire Engine 'Useless'

Residents of Naivasha town have described its fire fighting engine as a disgrace.

"It is too small to deal with fire incidents in the town," they said yesterday. The residents were furious after the engine failed to put out a fire in Kihoto estate which destroyed more than 50 houses.

Civic leaders in the town also supported the residents, admitting that the engine is too small and cannot put out big fires. In the Kihoto incident, at least 40 families were left homeless. Most of them work in the local flower farms.

During the incident property worth thousand of shillings was reduced to ashes and scores injured as they tried to salvage their property.

Emotions run high during the incident as some of the victims shedtears as all their life savings were reduced to ashes. According to one of the victims Jane Njeri they noticed smoke billowing from one of the houses.

"There were some children in the house and we realized that there was smoke and efforts to put it off were fruitless," She said that due to high winds, lack of water and the wooden material, the fire spread very fast making it impossible to contain.

Area councilor Simon Wanyoike Wanango said that the council needed a bigger fire engine to deal with such cases.

"The current fire engine is too small and we ask the government to partner with the council so that we can get a bigger machine," He said that over 30 families were left homeless during the incident and called for well wishers to assist them.

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