A group of fire-fighters was sent to Kenya to learn advanced techniques and bring back sorely-needed skills to Somalia.
Somalia is trying to revive its Fire and Rescue Unit with help from the African Union Mission in Somalia Trust Fund.
Impoverished explosive devices and suicide bombings have made fires a frequent occurrence in the country.
Kenyan Airports Authority Fire and Rescue, Francis Ndeleva, said: “Airport fire-fighting is a bit advanced, it is more technical because you have to deal with an aircraft with passengers on board and there is a lot of fuel and it is moving. So when it touches down, you expect a lot of problems. And the fire is abrupt, it builds up very fast and people can inhale toxic gasses from within or even hot air."
One of the trainees said: “The benefit is that we have come from a point where we did not have these skills we have acquired and we have had challenges, but now we have the know-how to counter fire disasters. We have enjoyed it, sometimes we do exercises of physical structure and sometimes we take theory; what fire is, what fire causes and the hazards of fire. We’ve learnt a lot of advantages in Kenya.”
However, critics might question whether Kenya is the right choice as the country’s fire brigade was recently slammed for its slow response to a small fire at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport which resulted in extensive damages.