News / Africa

Fire a 'Constant Concern' in S. Sudan Hotels, Managers Say

  • Smoke billows from the South Sudan Hotel in Juba and flames are visible under the roof after fire raked through the hotel on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
  • Flames crackle under the roof of the South Sudan Hotel in Juba.
  • South Sudan Hotel manager Mel Garang Yout surveys damage after fire ripped through the hotel on Oct. 2, 2013.
  • Black smoke from the fire at the South Sudan Hotel, which was gutted by flames on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, could be seen across Juba.
  • A worker helps to clear charred rubble from the South Sudan Hotel, which was heavily damaged by a fire on Oct. 2, 2013.
South Sudan Hotel Fire
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
A week after fire tore through the South Sudan Hotel in Juba, Mel Garang Yout walked amid the rubble, surveying the damage and watching as salvage workers move burnt timber and charred rubble from the roof of the VIP section of the hotel.

The hotel suffered some 2.5 million South Sudanese pounds' worth of damage, not including guests' property, when fire ripped through it last Wednesday, said Yout.

But it didn't have to be this way, he said: the damage would have been far less extensive if the fire brigade were better equipped and had arrived within minutes of the first call going out, he told VOA News.

“They came after one hour or two hours... everything was damaged," Yout said.

"They are really very poor. They brought with them one car and that car didn’t have water. So we ran to go and look for the water tank to supply them," he said.

At another Juba hotel, the Quality Hotel, manager Yemane Binega said fire is a constant concern, partly because all hotels in Juba have to use generators for some of their power supply.

An electrical short circuit when the South Sudan Hotel switched from its generator to main power is believed to have been what triggered the fire there.

Binega said the Quality Hotel has invested in fire extinguishers and blankets. He recommended that business owners store fuel at a safe distance from open flames, such as in the kitchen, and other places where fire could break out.

New York Hotel manager Eyob Ghebrekristos said his establishment has spent more than 11,000 pounds on fire extinguishers. 

“We have fire extinguishers in our generator areas, in the kitchen, in the rooms where we accommodate guests and in the bar," he said.

The extinguishers are inspected annually by the fire brigade, Ghebrekristos said.

"They do come here. They renew the licences and they check the fire extinguishers," he said.

Central Equatoria State Fire Brigade director, Colonel John Domillian, declined to comment for this story, but in an earlier interview said the fire department responded immediately to the South Sudan Hotel fire.

He acknowledged his team is short on equipment and said they have asked the government for more.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs