Susan Bay on fire

Statement on Susan’s Bay Fire Incident
24/03/2021

Just left the scene of a terrible fire at Susan’s Bay. The entire community has been burnt to the ground. Thousands are affected. We won’t know the full scale of the disaster until tomorrow when we conduct an assessment with NDMA and other partners. Many children are missing, separated from their parents in the chaos. Twelve children were at the FSU at Eastern Police station. We understand that other children might have boarded boats moored on the wharf.

Devastating to witness yet another fire disaster in the wake of six others in recent weeks. Once again, there was no access for the fire service. A six storey building under construction at the Guinea Store entrance to Susan’s Bay blocked what access there would previously have been from that end.

Disaster risk reduction cannot happen without effective urban planning and a building permit regime which is focused on reducing environmental and man made risks. Local councils are best placed to deliver these mandates and even as we once again face disasters like this terrible fire, we trust that devolution of land use planning and building permit issuance will happen soon. We believe that this will through policy design help to mitigate against these disasters.

Please join us in praying for the victims.

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