Hwange Local Board to build first fire station

25 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Hwange Local Board to build first fire station Mr Dumisani Nsingo

The Sunday News

Uzile Mkwananzi, Sunday News Reporter

HWANGE Local Board has set in motion plans to build its first ever fire station as well as commission a fire tender that was acquired by the Government from Belarus in a development that is expected to improve the town’s response to disasters.

The Local Board has been operating without a fire station for 40 years, a situation which has been hampering effective response to distress calls amid revelation that its fire-fighters were allegedly reporting for duty from their homes and bars.

Addressing residents at Empumalanga Terminus in Hwange on Thursday, Hwange Local Board chairperson Councillor Morrison Mafa said they have put in place a budget for the construction of a fire station to house their workers.  The development, he said, was going to make tackling fire incidents easier as their workforce would be reporting for duty from a central post.

“As the local board, we have budgeted for the construction of a fire station. Since its inception in 1974, the local authority had been operating without a fire station. This has over the years affected our responsiveness, as many a time, our firefighters will be called for duty from their homes,” said Mr Mafa.

He said the fire stations would be designed for the sole purpose of housing the local board’s fire department which included fire-fighters and the applicable equipment, as well as to allow for the fastest response possible to customers within their specific response area hence the urgency in building a station. 

Councillor Mafa also said they were going to commission a fire tender that was acquired from Belarus by the Government through utilisation of the devolution fund. He said the local board also managed to source another fire engine from the United Kingdom last year bringing the number of fire engines to three, including the one that was not functional but was being fixed and would be up before the end of this year.

“The council will always commit itself towards ensuring the safety of the public and will continually be on the lookout for opportunities to improve service delivery to the citizenry,” said Clr Mafa.

The local board’s public relations manager, Mr Dumisani Nsingo confirmed the developments saying they were looking forward to the having their fire station.

“Yes, we don’t have a fire station but we are looking at having one this year. We have already identified a site for its construction and we have budgeted for that in our 2024 budget. As for the allegations that our fire fighters are reporting for duty from bars, it’s just part of the bar talk that should not be taken seriously. Our fire-fighters are professionals. They are highly skilled and won’t conduct themselves in such a manner.”

A businessman of the community Mr Message Nzara said he was pleased with the developments that were aimed at improving service delivery to the residents.

“We are very grateful for what Hwange Local Board is doing. All the efforts will go a long way in improving the residents’ faith and confidence in them which is very important. We are now assured of speedy and effective response to fires in communities.” Clr Mafa also appealed to homeowners to display their property numbers outside where they were visible to help emergency services to identify houses faster.

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