Veld fires silent economic assassins

Fire dept. can’t deal with fire outbreaks

18 June 2012

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 Swaziland WITH wild and veld fires mushrooming everywhere during the winter season, the Fire and Emergency Services Department is faced with difficulties as there is shortage of equipment.
Though there are difficulties, this has not stopped them from working especially during this busy period.
The department’s PRO, William Dlamini said they were working despite the challenging circumstances. He said they were hopeful that soon the issue of working equipment shortage would be sorted out.
He said it was true there was a huge equipment shortage in the department and that available equipment was old and outdated.
“There is an issue of equipment shortage in the department but government has promised to purchase new working tools and the old ones will be replaced.
We are hopeful it will happen sooner because working at times proves to be impossible, but we are managing with the little we have,” he said.
The department’s mouthpiece said they were hopeful for more especially after the appointment of the task team which was currently working on the matter.
Dlamini said they were cognisant of the fact that government was not in a good financial position but were glad that they were considered.
He encouraged Swazis to build fire breakers so that fire cannot spread quickly when left unmonitored. More fires have broken out during the winter season due to the windy nature as people start unmonitored fires. In one weekend, 18 fires were reported to have broken out in different areas in the country.
This has posed a challenge to the department due to insufficient working equipment but the fire was put out before it could do further damage. Last year firefighters marched to the ministry of Housing and Urban Development complaining about the lack of the equipment.

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