Fire Hydrants still malfunctioning
It has been a perennial problem and every time there is a major fire the malfunctioning of fire hydrants comes up for serious debate. And usually the inter agency discussion ensues. Apparently City Hall is responsible for the maintenance of the Hydrants while the Guyana Water Inc. supplies the water. The CEO of the utility Nigel Niles says in the case of the Regent Street fire, neither the officers nor the offices of the GWI received a call from the Fire Service about the fire around the time it started.
The Fire gutted nearly all of the northern section of the block of Regent Street except about two buildings and the massive City Mall between Camp and Alexander Streets.
Several Fires have destroyed section of the busy commercial blocks in Regent Street and in all of the cases the fire Hydrants have not worked. In fact even during the St Joseph Mercy Hospital Fire and the Sacred Heart Church Fire the Hydrants were not working.
Capitol News reported in the past that road construction has resulted in the asphalting of the subterranean water sources and the hydrants have been damaged or destroyed in the process too. The presence of drug addicts aka “junkies” and the rush for scrap metal have taken a toll on the metal hydrants.
The clogging of the canals by Styrofoam and other debris although there is a billion dollar windfall from the environmental tax to clear them has complicated the firefighting ability of the Guyana Fire Service. The canals are usually used as holding ponds when there is a fire.