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Kandahar fire department faces lack of resources

Kandahar fire department faces lack of resources

Jun 28, 2011 - 12:22

KANDAHAR (PANinfo-icon): Authorities in the Kandahar fire department say their efforts are plagued by a lack of equipment and personnel.

Col. Mubarak Shah, chief of the fire department in this southern province, told Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview that his department does not have the resources to deal with the region’s many fires, which often result from explosions and fighting.

The provincial fire department has only 25 employees, eight working firetrucks, and not enough access to water, which is in short supply across the province. Meanwhile, Kandahar has been the scene of 269 fire-related incidents since the end of March alone, 102 of them involving fuel, gas or chemicals.

He asked the relevant authorities to provide the fire department with three 30,000-litre water tankers to help it combat the province’s fires.

He also said that Kandahar’s residents were not helping the fire department, and blamed many of the fires on carelessness. Further, he said that in Kandahar “many stores, houses, markets were not built with basic [fire safety] standards, so we cannot control fires very well" when they start.   

Residents of Kandahar City, too, urged the government to provide more resources for the province’s fire department.

Noor Agha, a resident of the Chaharso area, complained that firefighters arrive too late after a fire starts, often after the fire has already caused a great deal of damage. He said firefighters should arrive more quickly on the scene of fires and explosions. He also urged the government to supply the department with more modern equipment.


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