Towards Sustainable Disaster Management: An Assessment of Levels of Community Awareness on Fire Outbreaks and Safety among Public Universities in Tanzania
Abstract: This study assessed community awareness on fire outbreaks and safety among public universities in Tanzania with reference to The Open University of Tanzania and the University of Dar es Salaam. Specifically, the study intended to explore individualsâ€™ awareness and knowledge on causes of fire incidents; identify individuals who had witnessed fire incidents; assess knowledge on essential facilities for firefighting and safety; assess the individualâ€™s ability to fight against fire incidents using local and relevant firefighting gears available in oneâ€™s premise; examine the individual ability to use modern and specified firefighting gears and safety facilities andÂ to measure the attempts made by the universities under study towards raising community awareness on using firefighting appliances and safety measures. The study adopted phenomenological qualitative research design. Questionnaires, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions (FGD) and observation approaches were used to collect data from 76 respondents obtained through purposive and random sampling. Data collected were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. Numerical data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics with the help of SPSS software. Qualitative data on the other hand was analyzed using content analysis approach. The study findings revealed that community awareness on fire outbreaks and safety was low. This comes as a result of inadequacy of trainings for facility users, lack of enlightenments for creating community awareness and cautions on fire incidences and poor fire outbreaks management. The study recommended on the improvement of integrative fire management and public fire disaster awareness (PFDA) strategies so as to create community awareness and safety on fire outbreaks.Â Â
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