Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is keen on boosting fire and rescue services in Taita Taveta County as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts being rolled out across the six coastal counties.
KPA and the county’s disaster management department undertook basic firefighting, prevention, and rescue drills at the revamped county fire and rescue base at Taita Taveta University.
The renewed efforts toward the prevention of fire disasters in the county follow the acquisition of two fire engines, two 200,000-liter water tanks, among an assortment of other firefighting and prevention equipment by the county government in efforts to promptly and effectively respond to fire disasters.
KPA is offering technical and training support to the men and women in charge of the new fire station, which will revolutionize the county’s response to fire disasters.
In the past, Taita Taveta has been afflicted by wildfires that have left thousands of hectares of forest destroyed.
The most recent fire disaster was at Ngangao Forest, a 139,000-acre forest with 80 per cent of indigenous trees and home to many endemic plants and birds.
According to the latest research by Nature Kenya, wildfires in Taita Taveta significantly contribute to the destruction of habitats.
In particular, the report apportions blame of the near extinction of three unique bird species namely Taita White Eye, Taita Olive Thrush, and Taita Apalis to the destruction of forests by wildfires and human activities.
Following the revamping of the county’s fire station and capacity-building efforts by KPA, fire disasters will now be a thing of the past.
By Arnold Linga Masila