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Empowering Mathare Families to Prevent Fires

Empowering Mathare Families to Prevent Fires

By MOHI on Mar 25, 2015 10:08:00 AM

Last week, Missions of Hope International’s (MOHI) Community Health Evangelism (CHE) trainers and other staff members participated in a week-long fire safety and prevention training presented by the Nairobi County Fire Department. As part of the training, our staff learned how to use different types of fire extinguishers and applied their training by extinguishing a controlled fire outside our Pangani center. A few community members also gathered to watch the exercise.

Outbreaks of fire commonly occur in Mathare Valley. Houses in Mathare are constructed of highly-flammable materials, like wood and cardboard, and are situated very close together. Thus, even small fires can devastate families, robbing them of their homes and the few possessions they have, and often destroy entire neighborhoods. By learning fire prevention skills, our staff can share their knowledge with the families they assist in Mathare to empower them to protect themselves and their communities from fire.

MOHI began working with Nairobi’s fire department through the generous support and facilitation of Africa Fire Mission (AFM), a U.S.-based non-profit organization that empowers firefighters across Africa to receive quality fire training and firefighting equipment and also empowers communities to protect themselves from fire. Several years ago, AFM partnered with MOHI to conduct fire safety trainings for our staff. AFM also delivered firefighting equipment and conducted trainings for the Nairobi Fire Department.

"Two and a half years ago, there was no plan in place to help reduce fires in Mathare Valley,” said David Moore, Executive Director and founder of AFM. "Today, MOHI personnel, fire department staff, and community members have new skills, knowledge, and equipment to keep them safer from the ravages of fire. We at Africa Fire Mission are happy to have played a small role in bringing together MOHI and the Nairobi Fire Department. We are excited to see this partnership grow and for the community to realize the benefits of being more prepared to deal with unwanted fires.”

AFM personnel plan to return to Nairobi later this year to work with MOHI staff to further develop fire prevention curriculum that MOHI’s CHE trainers and staff can teach to families in Mathare Valley.