Addis Loses 26M Br to Accidents in First Quarter


Though the frequency of accidents has decreased, their intensity has led to greater costs




Addis Abeba lost more than 26 million Br as the result of fire and other accidents in the first quarter of the year. This came as the result of 94 accidents and represents a fourfold increase from the same time last year.

“The number of accidents and lives lost has marginally declined, yet the intensity of the accidents was so high on factories that the costs surged”, said Kassahun Desalegn, communication director at the Addis Ababa Fire and Emergency Prevention and Rescue Agency (FEPRA).

From the total 46 accidents, seven impacted factories in the special zones of Oromia and Addis Abeba.

In relation to the popular unrest that has lingered for over a year, businesses in the Oromia Region have felt the biggest impact.

Three factories – two chemical factories and the Tatek Industrial Village – have suffered half of the property damage, amounting to 13 million Br. While the rest is spread out across the capital.

Fire accidents in dense market places, like Merkato, take the lead in causing the damage, while other accidents include electrocution, suicides, and accidents related with construction and holes.

The sub-cities that suffered through fire damage the most were Qirqos, Addis Ketema, Aqaqi Kos, Aqaqi and Bole, with 12 fires and unforeseen incidents at each sub city. Areas under the agencies radar that accounted for the fewest accidents are the Lideta and Kolfe sub cities, with two instances of fire and three other incidents each.

Last year, the city had 421 incidents that caused damage to property and took lives – a decline of 55 from the 2014/15 fiscal year.

“Even though the hydrants set at the eight locations have helped us to refill our trucks, people dont report on time and the roads are crowded by traffic”, Kassahun told Fortune. The narrow roads in Addis are not suitable for our trucks.

A year ago, the Agency installed 293 hydrants across eight locations in eight districts, at a total cost of six million Br fulfilling 70pc of their plan. The hydrants were installed along the main roads, so as to be easily accessible to fire trucks.

The overall report on the damage to property and loss of human life in 2014/2015 indicated 123 million Br worth of property damage. This showed an improvement compared to the 132 million Br lost in 2013/2014

The Agency  was formed in 1934 as the Fire Extinguishing Service Corporation. It started off with 100 staff, two water-boat cars, one manual water pump, two ladders and handicraft tools. The method of reporting fire accidents was by physically visiting the Agency or by shouting loud using a traditional musical instrument called the Tirumba.

The FEPRA currently has 940 employees, 30 ambulances, 22 accident prevention vehicles, three cars with the technical capacity to extinguish fires, a rescue team car for emergencies and a master lift. It gives services under eight branches.



By BEZAWIT ADMASU
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Nov 15,2016 [ Vol 17 ,No 863]


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