President Mnangagwa on Friday commissioned 23 firefighting trucks acquired from Belarus, the first batch of the 133 that will be supplied by the European country to help Zimbabwe mitigate against threats caused by fire.
The trucks, will be distributed to all the 92 local authorities with Harare and Bulawayo expected to get four fire engines each, while other local authorities will get according to size.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony held in Harare, President Mnangagwa said the Government has prioritized the procurement of the firefighting equipment to mitigate against fire hazards.
Zimbabwe has over the year experienced a number of fire related incidences, in some cases causing death to people and damaging property worth millions of dollars.
“Hence the contract between the Government of Zimbabwe and the Republic of Belarus, which was signed in March 2023, for the supply of the fighting equipment has seen the delivery of the first batch of the 23 fire tenders,” he said.
The fire tenders are coming with back up spare parts and workshops will be established in major cities to service them.
“Over and above this, my Government is accelerating the establishment of a Multi-Hazard National Management centre here in Harare. In the context of our broader co-operation frames with Belarus in the area of training and skills enhancement, Educations Safety Centres that focus on all forms of hazards and disaster will soon be rolled out,” he added.
The Zimbabwe National Defence University, a key strategic institution in the training of natural disasters, will also get one fire tender which will be on standby to cover the New Parliament building in Mt Hampden.
President Mnangagwa also pledged that some of the fire tenders will be supplied to the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to deal with veld fires.
Belarus Deputy Minister of Emergence Situations General Igor Bolotov said his country will continue to support Zimbabwe in its quest to economically empower itself.
Zimbabwe and Belarus have been enjoying cordial relationships that also saw the country’s tow heads of State paying reciprocal visits to each other’s nation.
Representatives of local councils across the country attended the commissioning ceremony