Nakuru County activates disaster response team following frequent fire incidents

Firefighters battle an inferno at Stem Hotel in Nakuru in June 2022. [Bradley Sikolia, Nakuru]

Nakuru County Government has activated its disaster response and management team following a rise in cases of fire outbreaks in parts of the county.

The county attributed the rise in fire incidents to the dry vegetation caused by the ongoing drought that has affected various parts of the country.

This came as area residents expressed their concern over inadequate fire engines in major towns leading to the destruction of property worth millions in the last couple of weeks.

The move by the county comes days after a fire razed tens of acres in Mt Longonot National Park and several homes in Naivasha.

According to the Chief Officer in charge of disaster management Joyce Cece, cases of bushfires in the county were on the rise.

While calling on area residents to be careful while burning litter, she identified this as one of the main causes of the fire outbreaks in the county.

"We have activated our disaster management response team following a rise in cases of fire outbreaks due to the harsh weather conditions," she said.

Speaking in Naivasha after a fire burnt down property worth millions in one of the estates, Cece called on stakeholders to chip in whenever there was a fire incident.

"We have decided to engage KDF and NYS in managing these fire outbreaks that are on the rise and we are asking other stakeholders mainly in the flower farms to assist," she said.

The Chief Officer noted that currently, the county had challenges in the number of fire engines after some broke down and another one was burnt down a couple of years back.

"The Governor is doing everything possible to make sure that all the fire engines are serviced in the wake of these fire incidents," he said.

This came as the fire outbreak in parts of Mt Longonot national park was contained by KWS officers and members of the public.

The fire that started over the weekend left a trail of destruction by displacing tens of wild animals and burning down hundreds of pasture land.

Naivasha sub-county commissioner Mutua Kisilu confirmed the fire outbreak in the national park adding that the southern part was adversely affected.

He was however quick to add that the fire had been contained before spreading to the nearby farms and homes though tens of animals had been displaced.

"We suspect that the fire outbreak was caused by charcoal burners or honey gatherers but we have managed to contain it," he said.

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