Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Beitbridge Town Council yesterday received a state-of-the-art fire tender from the Florian Project UK, which is set to improve disaster management and service delivery here.
Prior to the latest development, council had been relying on the National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe, Gwanda Municipality and Musina Municipality in South Africa in cases of fire outbreaks and related accidents.
The town is home to an estimated 50 000 people and a daily transit population of 13 000, which uses Beitbridge Border Post.
In addition, the local authority also attends to accidents on major highways leading to Harare and Bulawayo.
Acting director of administration Mr Sathulani Moyo told stakeholders that last year they also received several fire fighting equipment from the same organisation. He said the equipment would go a long way in improving the quality of service delivery in the town.
“This is a milestone achievement considering that we had to outsource for fire tenders from other stakeholders in cases of accidents,” said Mr Moyo.
“We were struggling to handle fires with a small fire tender with a capacity to carry 450 litres of water, mainly from hydrants. The new machine has a bigger tank which carries 1 000 litres of water and 45 litres of foam. Further, the vehicle can carry five crew members and all the equipment we need for fire fighting.”
Mr Moyo said the arrival of the vehicle was also a major boost towards attaining municipality status. He said adequate and bigger fire tenders were some of the items the Local Government Board consider when granting municipal status to towns.
He said they had used $20 000 in shipment costs for the vehicle from the United Kingdom.
Chairman of the Beitbridge Business Association Mr Nkululeko Milidi called on the local authority to speed up the construction of a fire station.
Council chairperson Mrs Showa Moyo said they were working on a raft of measures with the view of improving service delivery.