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Bulawayo gets UK fire tenders

by Staff reporter
24 Mar 2024 at 18:11hrs | Views
UNITED Kingdom-based firefighting charity organisation, Operation Florian, has donated three fire tenders to Bulawayo after city fathers expressed concerns over shortages of firefighting equipment and experts.

The donation was handed over at a time Operation Florian firefighting department was conducting a two-week training workshop of fire attenders in Bulawayo.

Bulawayo mayor David Coltart said the donation was timely in the face of serious shortages of firefighting equipment in the city.

Coltart said the local authority was financially hamstrung to purchase new fire tenders or buy other firefighting equipment.

"We have alarmingly low numbers of fire engines and unfortunately this city has been affected by wider economic collapse," he said after receiving the fire tenders.

"We have major budgetary constraints and because of that we are not able to replace machines as we would have liked and quite frankly without your support we would have been in a more dire situation."

In November last year, the council received four new fire tenders acquired from Belarus under controversial circumstances by the government using devolution funds.

The Belarus fire-tenders deal was imposed on local authorities by former Local Government minister July Moyo.

Critics immediately accused the ministry of inflating the cost of the fire tenders, some indicating that similar vehicles were much much cheaper online.

Coltart also complained about the massive skills flight in the firefighting department as experienced personnel leave the country in search of greener pastures.

"Our workers are paid in Zimbabwean currency, which is rapidly depreciating," he said.

Bulawayo chamber secretary Sikhangele Zhou, said: "We have now gotten a waiver to drive them on the roads because ordinarily second hand vehicles are not allowed to be driven on the roads."

Bulawayo town clerk Christopher Dube hailed the continuity of the partnership between the city and Operation Florian.

"Our fire unit is as it is right now because of the cooperation we have with Operation Florian," Dube said.

Source - newsday
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