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Kilifi County relocates fire station from residential area – KBC

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The Kilifi County government has planned to relocate a fire station located within the property in Kilifi County.

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The project, which is funded by the World Bank in partnership with the State Department of Housing, will be implemented by Kilifi Town Municipality through the Kenya Urban Assistance Program.

Authorities responsible for the relocation have already identified another piece of land that they describe as safe for fire services different from the current location.

Journalists who visited the ‘fire station’ however described the station as the center of real estate, Ngala Estate, which belongs to the Ministry of National Housing within the city.

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It was found that firefighters share a small desk set up in two rooms one of which is a kitchen with no office or staff field to practice.

Firefighters are also forced to conduct their practice openly in front of the eyes of residents living within the property.

In addition, at the entrance to the ‘fire station,’ there are boda-boda operators who park for emergencies.

Children are also reported to be playing in front of a fire engine which is the only space they can have within the property.

Moses Gunda Munga Kilifi County Chief Officer in charge of housing, body planning, and urban development said what they have in real estate is not a fire station but a fire engine parking area.

He said the activities and services of the fire station could not be carried out because there must be dormitories for firefighters and those handling fire engines.

“We need training areas for firefighters so they can be healthy 24 hours a day, they need to stay there which requires a right hall that can’t happen inside a confined area,” he said.

Munga for that reason added that they chose to get a one-acre piece of land that could accommodate all those facilities.

He said the municipality through its board held a series of public participation sessions and one of the projects that the public identified was a fire station and an emergency response center.

The official said the station was important because it was the only fire station in Malindi municipality.

“The project will be implemented in the next round of the next Kenya Urban Assistance Program, after a certain website has been identified just outside the CBD,” he said.

In addition, Munga said they have advisers to the board who have come up with the structure of the center saying that within the next week there will be a basic celebration of the project.

Currently, he said Kilifi County has five fire engines and one engine parked in one of their homes which is very disturbing.

Munga said once the fire station is located where the county government intends to get more fire engines.

“This fire station will cover key areas from Kilifi North to South, Rabai and Mariakani areas.

Residents of the area who were interviewed said the fire station should be evacuated immediately because it was disrupting their lives.

Rose Riziki a resident of Ngala Estate who said they do not feel comfortable as such a facility should be away from the property.

He added that they have children who often play at the center and during emergencies which can be dangerous because the response is made quickly.

In addition, he said whenever a fire engine siren blows it affects those closest to the sick and those who have infants.

“We would like to see this fire truck relocated, since they came here, we have not had any problems with them, they are good people. The environment here is not good for them to work,” he said.

Joseph Mugambi a boda-boda operator who works in front of the fire station also said the siren is affecting people at night.

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