A survey conducted by The Herald revealed that fire departments in the country’s major towns and cities have no capacity to handle major fire incidents.
Speaking to the publication, City of Harare emergency services assistant chief fire officer Mr Lovemore Mafukidze said that Harare has 15 functional fire trucks out of 20, 3 functional aerial ladders out of five, 14 specialist functional vehicles and 14 ambulances and out of the total, 10 are working. He also said that the three sub-stations in Kuwadzana, Waterfalls and Greendale are equipped with a single fire truck each.
Chairperson of the caretaker commission appointed by Government to look into the welfare of Chitungwiza, Mr Madzudzo Pawadyira said that the town has one functional fire engine which was recently acquired through donation. He said that it does not have connectivity by radio with City of Harare. In Beitbridge, town secretary Mr Loud Ramakgapolo said they only have one functional fire truck. Below are the statistics for other towns according to the Herald’s survey:
- Mutare – 1 truck out of 3.
- Gweru- 2 out of 5 trucks, 6 ambulances.
- Masvingo- 3 out of 4 trucks, one rapid intervention vehicle and 3 ambulances.
- Bulawayo- 8 functional ambulances out of 11.