• Authorities have identified land deemed safe for fire services to set up the new station.
• The relocation is funded by the World Bank and Department of Housing through the Kenya Urban Support Programme
The Kilifi government plans to relocate a fire station whose current location has been described as mere parking for the engine.
Authorities have identified land deemed safe for fire services to set up the new station. The relocation is funded by the World Bank and Department of Housing through the Kenya Urban Support Programme. The Kilifi town municipality will implement it.
At the fire station in the middle of Ngala estate, firemen share small desks set up in two rooms one of which is a kitchen. There is no office or grounds for drills.
Boda-boda operators park nearby and children sometimes play in front of the fire engine.
Moses Munga, the Kilifi county chief officer for Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development said the situation was not ideal as there are no dormitories for the firemen.
“We need training areas for these firefighters so that they are physically fit almost on a 24-hour basis,” he said.
Munga said they have found a one-acre piece of land that can accommodate a dining hall and staff quarters, with ample space left.
He said consultants are on board to design the new station and a groundbreaking ceremony will be held in the next week for the project.
“This fire station will be able to cover key areas from Kilifi north to south, Rabai and Mariakani areas rather than relying on what has been there. The fire engine has to come from Malindi now, so for us, it's one project which we believe will improve in terms of safety,” he said.
Rose Riziki, a resident of Ngala estate, said they don’t feel comfortable because the facility is supposed to be away from the estate.
She said they have children who often play there and during emergencies, it can be dangerous because the response has to be swift.
Joseph Mugambi, a boda-boda operator who waits for clients near the fire station said the siren affects people at night.
He said the road leading to the station is narrow and it gives the firemen a difficult time to respond during an emergency.
“Sometimes we are forced to stop people and motorists whenever the fire engine is responding to an emergency to avoid an accident,” he said.
(edited by o. owino)