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New Beitbridge fire station complete

by Staff reporter
15 Jun 2022 at 07:31hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT in partnership with the Zimborders Consortium has completed constructing a new fire station in Beitbridge to address the perennial fire and emergency rescue services deficiencies in the border town.

The facility is part of a number of infrastructure development projects being rolled out in the border town under the US$300 million Beitbridge border modernisation.

A fire station, an animal quarantine, sewer oxidation dam, a landfill, roads upgrading, construction of 220 staff houses, and 11,4 megalitre reservoir are some of the out-of-port facilities under construction.

Government and the Zimborders Consortium are implementing the massive infrastructure development initiative under a 17 and half-year Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement.

Zimborders Consortium chief executive officer, Mr Francois Diedrechsen said they will soon hand over the completed facility to the Government.

"The fire station has been completed and will be handed over to the Government by the end of this week," he said.

Mr Diedrechsen said they are on schedule to complete most of the out-of-port works which should be completed by April next year.

"One other major project is the water reservoir which is almost complete. We are in the process of having security offices built at the site after which it will be ready to be hand over to the Government by end of July," he said.

The local authority has been failing to raise funds to construct a fire station.

 "As per the tender and scope of works the fire station will be operated by the local municipality,"  said Mr Diedrechsen.

In separate interviews yesterday, residents commended the New Dispensation for delivering on its promise to improve service delivery and transform the town into a modern centre.

"This fire station will help in terms of our capacity as a community to respond to disasters such as fires, road traffic accidents and other emergencies.  We are excited as residents that we will have a facility manned by professionals to help us in our greatest hour of need. In some instances, it will create employment and hopefully reduce drug abuse among the youths," said Miss Evelyn Lunga.

Beitbridge Mayor, Councillor Munyaradzi Chitsunge said the construction of the facility will build the council's capacity to better handle emergencies, considering that the town is rapidly growing in terms of both properties and human population.

At the moment, the town has an estimated 70 000 residents and more than 16 000 properties.

Clr Chitsunge said in the last five years, Beitbridge experienced recurrent fire incidents, some of which were devastating.

"Residents have lost lives and properties worth thousands of dollars and having such a facility will help us address challenges to do with emergency responsiveness. We are also looking at the installation of fire hydrants at every business centre such that there is easy access to water in the event of a fire," said clr Chitsunge.

Businessman, Mr Beji Muleya said the fire station was long overdue and it will give them a sense of security for their investments.

"Thumbs up to our Government for investing in such a critical facility. All along business buildings and residential houses were destroyed by fires due to the local authority's limited capacity and now we are hopeful it will be a thing of the past," said another businessman Mr Clayton Mupambiki.

An environmentalist, Mrs Nompumelelo Chigwinya said there were a number of hazards around the town that often lead to extreme fires.

"These include the illegal sale and storage of hazardous substances and the increased usage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by many families," she said.

Source - The Chronicle