Liberia: House Reviews “Plan” to Buy Fire Trucks for Paynesville, Other Cities

House Speaker Cllr. Fonati Koffa.

The House of Representatives is currently considering allocating funds in the 2024 budget to purchase a fire truck for Paynesville and potentially additional fire trucks for other cities.

There has been a rise in fire incidents in Monrovia, Paynesville, and surrounding areas, prompting the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) to advocate for stricter fire safety regulations and procuring more fire trucks to protect lives, property, and natural resources.

Buttressing the LNFS’ request for more logistics, Montserrado County District #4 Representative, Michael Thomas has called on his colleagues at the House of Representatives to see the need to allocate funds for at least a fire truck for Paynesville.

“My request is in response to recent fire outbreaks causing significant damage in the city,” Thomas said in a communication sent to the House’s Plenary through the office of Speaker J. Fonati Koffa. The communication was read and discussed on Thursday, February 15.

According to Thomas, who is the House’s Committee Chair on Judiciary, his communication is a result of the recent fire outbreak across the country, especially in the City of Paynesville, that has caused unbearable setbacks to citizens.

“The City of Paynesville has witnessed several instances of fire outbreak within the space of 30 days, mainly destroying the homes of residents in District #4 and other parts of the city, and adjacent areas,” Thomas said, making specific reference to the incident that occurred a few days ago at the Residence of Senator Saah H. Joseph in Congo Town.

It is no secret that the lack of fire trucks in Paynesville has hindered the timely delivery of fire services during emergencies.

“The City of Paynesville has five electoral districts that are densely populated with over 450,000 persons who are living in structures with high volatility of fire outbreak. As we are aware, the Municipal City of Paynesville does not have a single fire truck, thus leaving them vulnerable during any fire outbreak as the National Fire Service has to dispatch its fire truck from as far as Ashmun Street, in Monrovia thus arriving after substantial damages to Lives and properties have occurred," he said.

Thomas therefore craves the indulgence of the House's Plenary to kindly consider budgetary allocation in the 2024 pending budget under the Paynesville City budget for the procurement of a Fire Truck for the people of Paynesville to minimize the unprecedented death and material loss the people of Paynesville have encountered over the past months.

In light of these circumstances, Rep. Thomas urged the House to allocate funds in the 2024 budget to purchase a fire truck for Paynesville to safeguard against future fire-related tragedies.

Meanwhile, after being read, the communication was referred to the Committee on Ways, Means, and Finance for further action, with an amendment proposed to ensure each county has access to fire trucks.