Lesotho’s fire emergency response wanting

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By Nicole Tau

Lesotho’s emergency response systems leave much to be desired and must be attended to as a matter of urgency, says Muso Lehloka, the Lesotho Mounted Police Service’s Fire Brigade Commander.

Lehloka’s call follows last Saturday night, a wildfire ravaged through some offices in the Ministry of Finance allegedly owing to negligence of unnamed employees who left a heater on.

On the night of August 22, when the fire broke in the Pensions department’s office it was put out soon thereafter by the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Fire Brigade department.

However, Police Spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli says there was significant damage to documents by the fire and the water that was used to extinguish the fire.

This was not the first time that a fire broke out in the Ministry’s Offices.

On July 22, 2019, the Health Ministry’s finance office was pillaged by fire which also affected other nearby offices before it was extinguished by the Fire Brigade.

What more, the fire that broke out last year at the Ministry of Health was also caused by a heater and was actually a second incident where same ministry’s Information Offices were also pillaged by fire.

According to Mopeli, the fire was reported by a security guard patrolling the office building and that to his knowledge, the offices did not have fire alarms or any fire security measures installed in place that would have signaled fire emergency response.

Muso Lehloka, Fire Brigade Commander expressed his concern and disappointment over the Emergency response services in the country.

“We are not doing enough in terms of the emergency response in this country. We need advocacy. There are a number of things that the government has to commit to in terms of emergency services in this country,” Lehloka said.

Mopeli shared similar views, conceding that indeed there is a problem that needs to be solved within the emergency services of the country.

That being said, the Ministry of Finance in a press statement said the Old Age Pension and Civil Pensioners’ government services in Maseru, including payment services, are suspended from today (25 August) until September 2020 given the arrangements that have already been made.

The public will be notified immediately once the new establishment of offices is set up for service delivery.

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