Zimbabwe — Beitbridge BureauThe Japanese Fire Fighters’Association has donated 10 fire tenders to 10 Zimbabwean councils.
The local authorities which benefited the non-governmentalorganisation’s generosity are Gwanda, Victoria Falls, Kwekwe, Chinhoyi,Marondera, Bindura and Kariba municipalities as well as town councils of Rusape,Chiredzi and Beitbridge. Speaking at the handover ceremony in Beitbridge at theweekend, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development,Cde Ignatius Chombo, hailed cordial bilateral relations between Zimbabwe andJapan, saying they were of mutual benefit to citizens of both countries.
In a speech read on his behalf by his permanent secretary,Mr Patson Mbiriri, he said:
“Here we are witnessing fruition of negotiationsbetween the Zimbabwe Government and Japanese Fire Fighters’ Association, whichis an NGO, albeit with intense participation of our respective diplomaticmissions.” The programme of recapitalising emergency equipment is both aresult of the Look East Policy and South-South co-operation. Cde Chombo said thedonation was anchored on the positive and wholesome relations between Zimbabweand Japan.
“The donation has been expressed through the JapaneseInternational Co-operation Agency in the tangible form of the development ofinfrastructure such as the new Chirundu Bridge and ancillary buildings, theprovision of plant and equipment to various Government departments and thetraining of Zimbabwean personnel,” he said.
He said this was underpinned by commercial ties betweenthe two countries in the form of bilateral trade. “At community level, ourtwo peoples continue to benefit from cultural exchanges and interaction,”he said. Cde Chombo urged the beneficiaries to make good use of thefire-fighting equipment. He said the equipment would go a long way in addressingproblems some of the local authorities were facing in disaster management. Thedonation comes at a time when responses to blazes countrywide in the form ofindustrial, commercial, domestic, residential and extensive veld fires have beenpoor due to lack of adequate equipment.
The director of the Civil Protection Unit, Mr MadzudzoPawadyira, senior Government officials and representatives of the benefitinglocal authorities attended the handover ceremony.