BY NIZBERT MOYO
Most government buildings in Bulawayo have been condemned as unsafe in the event of a fire outbreak as only two out of 40 buildings assessed by the fire brigade are in compliance with fire prevention measures.
Council acting chief fire officer Jabulani Ndlovu told Southern Eye yesterday that they were conducting a fire risk assessment programme that includes 117 government buildings in the city.
“This programme started on August 1 and will end on September 30 where we are assessing fire-fighting equipment in buildings in the city. The government gave us its 117 buildings to assess and out of the 40 we have assessed so far, only two buildings, which include the High Court building and the other one, are the ones with fire-fighting equipment in good shape. The rest of the buildings that include Mhlahlandlela, Registry Offices, schools like Nketa, Townsend and Tradegold, had their fire equipment vandalised,’’ Ndlovu said.
He said they were supposed to inspect 10 000 buildings in a year, adding that their efforts were hampered by lack of resources.
“We are unable to meet our target due to lack of resources and some of the buildings have turned out to be ghost buildings, either they have been deserted and we no longer have access to them or due to relocation maybe to Harare or were turned into garages or churches resulting in lack of accurate figures for the buildings,’’ he said.
Ndlovu said they were also inviting companies to bring their staff for training in fire prevention, adding that they had realised that some companies, had the equipment, but they did not know how to operate it in the event of a fire outbreak.