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NEWSLETTER OF CIVIL RIGHTS CONCERN (CRC)
...Empowering Civil Society for Sustainable Development
V O LU M E 1
IS SU E 1
In this issue...
Fire Outbreaks in Anambra State
Fire Outbreaks in Anambra State…
In a period of three months,
three (3) major fire outbreaks were recorded in the
State at Bridge head drugs
market Onitsha, First Bank
Main Market Onitsha and
Nkwo Ogidi market. Consequences of major fire outbreaks are usually heavy on
individuals that are affected.
The challenges of the fire
service department to intervene in fire outbreaks in the
State came up in one of the
committee of stakeholders
meetings held in Public Utilities sector. The meeting
took note of the low capacity of the department to
quickly respond to fire calls
in a sustained manner to
Getting Acquainted with CRC….5-6
First Bank Main Market branch Onitsha Fire incidence.
lack of fire hydrants at strategic locations; two of the
broken down fire fighting equipments,
stations mentioned for Ogtraining for staff,
bunike on the old road to
water availability for refilling fire fighting equipOnitsha and Ekwulobia are
yet to be done, and ..
….continue from page 2
poorly maintained firefighting equipments and
put off any inferno in the State. The weaknesses are on:
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lack of chemical solutions for fire fighting
The committee remarked that prompt measures be undertaken in these regards.
On Friday, January 19, 2018, there was a fire outbreak in one of the banks in Onitsha (First Bank Nigeria Ltd, Main Market Branch Onitsha). The fire unit in the market was called for response by the people around and it failed. The equipments were not working. The unit sent S.O.S to Okpoko branch. Okpoko branch responded but it took them more time
to arrive; considering the congestion in the town especially on roads. The fire had already done quite some damage and
angry people around started chasing them. We also learnt that the fire unit at Ogidi was invited to support in the fire
fighting but on learning that the unit from Okpoko were being chased by the people, they went back to their station. The
citizens around worked hard to stop the fire from spreading.
Fire outbreak at Bridge Head Drug Market Onitsha
In December 2017, there was fire outbreak at Bridge Head Drug Market Onitsha, people around estimated the destruction at several millions and in the month of February another fire out break caused by explosion of loaded fuel tanker took
place at Nkwo market, Ogidi. This is happening in three consecutive months and the fire unit could not respond effectively in a sustained manner for the same reasons; the response at Nkwo Ogidi market did not get maximum effect because the
market has no fire hydrant to support the effort and inadequate supply of chemical solutions for fire firefighting.
Some of the damages resulting from the fire outbreak at Nkwo market Ogidi
There are other fire outbreaks in the State within the period such as the one at Ugwuagba, Umuoba Anam General Hospital and the Mobile clinic at Ebenebe; farmers also suffered similar faith as many bags of rice were burnt at Anambra east
local government area during the Christmas festival because they could not be taken out due to poor access roads to the
farm an issue that has featured prominently in meetings of stakeholders in agriculture.
In our field reports we noted that between 2016 and February 2017 that many fire calls were made and we estimate this at
over 1000 based on the information people were giving in different locations in the State; and varying degrees of response
were given to them.
Taking a look at the budget lines of the fire service unit in the Ministry, we took note of the reasons for the poor capacity of the department. The budget has been poorly implemented for the period under review.
We reviewed the statistics of fire outbreaks in the State published by the government and the result is as stated below. In a
period of five (5) years, six hundred and ninety nine (699) fire outbreaks occurred in the State and resulted in twelve billion, four hundred and sixty five million, nine hundred and ninety thousand, four hundred naira (N12,465,990,400) estimated loss to the people of the State. This level of loss is obviously avoidable if right decisions are taken and implemented
at the right times.
NUMBER OF FIRE OUT
ESTIMATED VALUE OF
PROPERTIES LOST (₦)
The State economy is largely based on commerce and trade with very high population density estimated as high as 992.1
p/km² and population growth rate within the period of 2006-2011 at (+2.84%/year); by 2018, the population will be
5,846,063* (http://population.city/nigeria/adm/anambra/). The State proudly announces that Nnewi is the industrial
centre and Onitsha the commercial centre with the largest market in West African sub-region (Anambra State Strategic
Plan). If we consider the above statistics on fire incidence, the losses, the high population density, and the major assets of
the people of the State that are mainly goods, easily burnt by fire and the premier position given to trade and commerce in
the State, it becomes obvious that efforts at checking fire incidences and bringing them under control when it happens are
not good enough.
We know many people that have been recycled into abject poverty in the State because of many fire incidences that have
gutted the main market at Onitsha and other markets in the town. In the past, almost every three years, the main market
was burnt, those whose goods were burnt owed banks and other creditors within and outside Anambra State. These have
created vicious circles of poverty within trade and commerce sector and the banking industry as many workers in banks are
expelled for their inability to recover funds lent to such traders. All these could be avoided if we match our words with our
actions in service delivery.
We recommend that the government take up quick initiatives and necessary actions to make all fire units in the State functional. The various points marked for construction of fire hydrants should be undertaken without further delay. The equipments should be serviced on a routine basis. The main market fire unit could not respond because the equipments they
have in market are not functional.
Every corner in the State is market. The State should have more fire units in the country than other States considering the
level of exposure of our basic assets in trade and commerce.
In the above circumstances, citizens may start going to court to demand payment of compensation for loss of properties
resulting from fire outbreaks where the units responsible are unable to respond appropriately.
God bless Anambra State.
Getting Acquainted With CRC
Civil Rights Concern (CRC) is a nongovernmental organisation incorporated in the year 2000 by the Corporate Affairs
Commission Abuja under part C of the Company and Allied Matters Act, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria no. 12,
CRC was designed to carry out human rights education as an empowerment process to improve the processes of our democracy, speak out against degradation of human rights and dignity. CRC in this respect, developed planks of engagement
to meet the needs of rights holders and engaging duty bearers to accept responsibilities to their obligations; this forms the
core of CRC interventions and organisational objectives. It directs attention to yawning gaps in policy making and implementation and the denied rights to public services that facilitates realisation of human dreams to development; these denied access combined to dim the lights in the heart of youths, the ordinary man and woman in pursuit of legitimate livelihoods and hope for the elderly.
Vision: Civil Rights Concern thus envisions a country where human rights are respected in all management processes
in public governance, private sector and civil society organisations to sustain good living standards for our citizens.
Mission: Our concern is to empower the masses of the country that are the major variables in any democratic process, to
be able to realise desired human development in a sustainable environment and determine the kind of
leadership that would protect and serve their interest.
Policy objectives and strategy
Our citizens have stakes to protect in the process and outcomes of public policy. There are constitutional provisions and
derivatives arguments that empower citizens’ intervention in the policy process. CRC engages in those processes that not
only empower our citizens and civil society but make them proactive rights holders in public and community governance to
improve their livelihoods in a sustainable manner and
enhance respect for human rights and dignity.
In this frame of mind, CRC implements its programmes to disentangle complications that arise during elections whereby
communities are deceived to aid and abate election frauds and compromise implementation of budgetary programmes,
putting many lives into serious jeopardy.
Goal: To improve participation in governance and increase access to sustainable means of livelihood and good health
To promote democratic governance and responsive leadership;
To promote programmes of poverty alleviation, opportunities for self-reliance, social obligations among civil society
To sensitize society on gender issues, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and environmental rights
CRC is working on issues that promote accountability and access to Basic Social Services (BSS) in sectors of
Elections and electoral process;
Health and environment
in collaboration with other partners and networks. Implementation of these programmes is weaved into
budgetary rights to realise access, education and desired human development that is itself a human right, while
gender, HIV/AIDS and rights to reproductive health are streamed into all programmes.
Primary targets: policy makers and civil society, community organisations, women organizations/children and youths.
Strengthen community network as proactive agents;
Build bridges of relationship between policy makers and civil society around sectors of socio-economy and human
Information sharing and
Celebration of successful interventions to stimulate local engagements.
Networking: CRC has collaborations with many groups and networks some of which include
West African Network on Peace building and Women Peace network
Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)
Civil Society Coalition Against HIV/AIDS Nigeria,
Civil Society Coalition on Transparency, Accountability, and Good governance, (COTAGG) Anambra state
Coalition of Civil Society organizations for poverty Eradication (CISCOPE)
Electoral Reform network, a coalition working towards the reform of Nigeria’s electoral laws
Citizens Forum for Constitutional Reform, a body working towards the reform of Nigeria’s constitution
CiSHAN, a coalition that works on the HIV/AIDS related matters.
Civil Society group Working on Malaria – ACOMIN
Coalition of Eastern Non-Governmental Organisations (CENGOS)
Civil Society Coalition on Cancer — CiSCANEN
Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA)
Coalition of civil society organisations working on elimination of corruption — ANCOR
Anambra state Women Network (AN-WON)