By Tabora Bojang
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on Thursday organised a daylong sensitisation programme for local government officials focusing on electrical safety at markets and approved national electrical wiring standards.
The forum held at Mansakonko, Lower River Region, was aimed at introducing council representatives to innovative safety and precautionary measures as well as sharing best practices critical to the protection of markets against unwanted fire outbreaks.
Fire outbreaks have become a regular occurrence at markets across the country, resulting in loss of goods and properties.
Pura director-general Yusupha Jobe, said situating its role as an essential change agent in governance and as a regulatory authority whose mandate touches on electricity, Pura is convinced that creating awareness on market fire menace will considerably help reduce the trend of fire incidents in markets.
According Jobe, there is a strong evidence that poor electrical connections and overloaded circuits and lack of maintenance poses the greatest risks to market fires.
He emphasised the critical importance of local government authorities towards segmenting grassroots development, saying their thorough understanding of the Electrical Safety and National Wiring Standards will go a long way to minimise and prevent possible market fires in the future.
Lower River Region governor, Rohey John-Manjang, pointed out that the alarming incidences of fire outbreaks at markets is a call for concern as they imperil lives and properties and adversely affect livelihoods.
She reiterated that safety and precautionary measures should be consistently practised and adhered to reduce market fires and called on the participants to apply the knowledge gained from the forum and transmit it to their various localities.
All seven local government councils and municipalities participated in the sensitisation forum.