Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Destruction from yesterday's raging fire. The damage is staggering!

Destruction from yesterday's raging fire. The damage is staggering! 

It's absolutely terrible and nerve racking. These are but a few questions we have:

1) The warehouse was inaccessible. No way to for water trucks to pass from the back. 
2) Are authorities implementing any safety standards/checks for what is stored in these warehouses? 
3) What are the building standards? Can buildings/structures be built so close to each other.
4) Slums/shacks/communities are densely living next to these businesses. 
4) Are there zones for warehousing ?
5) What protocols exist of emergencies?
6) Why was such large crowd of people allowed to virtually choke Randall Street ? Why didn't the Police disperse the crowd? 
7) What building standards exist for construction of warehouses which stock particular, flammable goods? 
8) Who was in charge when this fire was raging?

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

What a disastrous and distressing day

Disastrous morning on Randall Street today, 20 February. A fire which started in Power Tech spread to 3 other buildings before being contained. It raged however into the late hours of the night. Building safety, public safety, warehouse zoning, building permits, location of shack communities, emergency responses (and much more) need reforms.

Massive fire

Massive fire erupted on Randall Street from 8 AM onwards. It apparently started in Power Tech's warehouse/shop and then spread all the way to the Eagle building. Fire fighters, community members, and brave individuals managed to contain the fire. Needless to say, massive damages and losses were sustained. Don't know much damage and losses the shacks/slums/small houses at the back of Randall Street had. The raging fire was at the back of the main buildings but there was no way fire trucks could pass through those small lanes. It appeared like utter chaos at first. Huge crowds amassed in the street to watch the chaos, some of them started looting a small provisions shop. The police arrived much later. Our office was far from the fire but the apartment where NATC's managers/owners live, was only 3 buildings away. It was extremely close, as we stood in the street, watching the massive smoke billowing in the sky. For a good hour it felt like the fire would continue spreading. It was only at about 1030 AM when we could see the fire has been contained. Shops were closed. Mainly Lebanese owners stood and watched. Some of them opened their shops to bring out fire extinguishers. Some Lebanese young men could be seen on top of neighbouring buildings and even the fire trucks, working in a team, extending the fire hoses to reach the back of the building where the fire was raging from. Would the fire be stopped? Is our building next? We stood and watched in stress, grief, and anxiety. Hundreds and hundreds of people were on the street, screaming, shouting, gesturing. "There is only 1 nozzle." "The fire is coming oh" "They can't stop it." Folks living behind these buildings came out with their few belongings. No one knew exactly what is going on. The police came much later. Our housekeeper said she saw them take pictures. Why weren't the crowds dispersed for safety and to clear the street? Eventually we saw a huge canon shooting water. One of our neighbours, was smiling the whole time and told us that it will not reach our side. So many faces we know and come across because we've been living and working on Randall Street, were out and about, watching with grim, tight faces. What a stressful morning. For sure, we witnessed today how disorganised, unequipped the authorities are. For sure, we witnessed the death traps we are living in with unclear zoning areas (residential and business); no building standards; don't know who is storing what in their warehouses and whether safety precautions are used; no safety standards; no city protocols for such a situation; and, no sense of security. But at least we are safe and thankful.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

End of year blog post by Farman Elahi

Dear Reader,

As an IT Technician I started my experience since 1996 with Pentium II and III computers. Today in 2018, smart technology is around us every day. From surveillance cameras to clothing, today’s smart technology is watching us, helping us, and getting smarter. As our processing power, bandwidth, and storage continue to expand exponentially, we will definitely see more and more smart technologies in our life.

End Year 2017: I  am writing a blog post as an IT Technician working in the best IT Company in Liberia, West Africa. I am so happy. That’s amazing and interesting for me. I faced many challenges in technologies such as V-SAT, Server applications, installation and repairs, servers, networking, Internet connectivity, printer repairing, cloud computing, mother board repairs, and much more. 

2017 made me confident that I can achieve my targets. I faced challenging situations. I learned communication is one of my strongest traits. I worked in 2017 for our valuable customers such as PSI, JICA, Social Impact, Water Aid, Tetra Tech, MCC, Ministry of Finance, EPO, Arcelor Mittal, MCC, LAC and many more.

March to June 2017 I experienced my greatest achievement when my company sent me to Ministry of Finance for repairs of hundreds damaged printers.  I really liked and loved that job. I repaired different kinds and parts of printers, such as:
  • Parallel Ports
  • Serial Ports
  • Infrared Ports
  • DC Boards
  • Power Boards
  • Paper Jams
  • Fusers
  • Error Indicators
  • Memory storage parts
  • Print Spooler
  • Image Quality
  • Paper Paths
In April 2017 my company management sent me to installation of V-SAT dishes for NEC Liberia with our V-SAT technician Konah Gray at Bensonville (Monstserrado, upper), Kakata (Margibi) & Tubmanburg (Bomi). I enjoyed that experience. We installed Dish, LNB, BUC finder, co-axiable cable, I-Direct modems. Very interesting jobs.

Thanks to NATC and Konah Gray learned to me about this technology on V-SAT Dishes.

In September 2017, our Clint UNISEF called CCTV cameras system was not working. Razberi MP System was not working. That was my 1st time working on a big CCTV system. After my diagnostics the problem was that the processor socket on mother board was seriously damaged. After trouble shooting, I succeeded for repairs processor socket. After I resolved this hardware issue, I installed OS and CCTV axis cameras software on this system.

I went to my home sweet home in Pakistan on vacations in 20th of November 2017. NATC management arranged my vacations and my travel expenses. Really NATC management is always great and for fully supporting and taking care of their employees. Thanks a lot NATC. I am so happy with NATC team.

Every year, the NATC team exchanges Secret Santa gifts. After my vacations we finally managed to open ours gifts. Our management organised this day. I like too much because all employees are together as a family.

My respected colleague Daniel Collins gives me beautiful Liberian Shirt. I really like it and thanks dear Daniel.   

By Farman Elahi, IT technician