Council fails to acquire adequate ambulances and fire engines for emergency.

Council fails to acquire adequate ambulances and fire engines for emergency.

By Florence Zirima

The Harare City Council has failed to acquire enough ambulances and fire engines for the past two years after the 2018 audit report revealed the inadequacy of these critical services.

The Council’s 2021 September report issued after requesting for information indicates that the emergency department needs more Fire Stations to attend to any emergency.

The Auditor General Mrs Mildred Chiri revealed in the 2018 audit report for Harare City Council that the city does not have enough fire engines.

“The City requires twenty five (25) fire engines to reach adequate fire preparedness. Currently the City only has 12 functional fire engines”, she told.

She also highlighted that thirty two (32) ambulances are needed to fully equip the Fire department but there are six (6) which are functional.

The audit report indicates that the fire department has only two (2) functional service vehicles out of fourteen (14) which are required at any time.

The ambulance section of the fire department is grossly understaffed.

It requires 145 employees yet only 73 are available and 215 Firemen are required but 120 are available, the audit report stated.

The information acquired from the Harare City Council showed that the city has 4 fire stations operating which are Central Fire Station, Greendale Fire Station, Waterfalls Fire Station, Kuwadzana Fire Station.

” The fire stations above are inadequate for a city as large as Harare, therefore, there is need for more Fire Stations to be constructed so as to meet the International Standard of 5 minutes response time to any emergency”, the 2021 September report reads.

The report indicates that the fire section has only 172 out of 217 and the ambulance section has 122 out of 147 manpower needed for any emergency.

It also shows that only 3 service vehicles are functional and 14 are needed. The number of ambulances that are available is 3 and 32 ambulances are required to service the city.

The shortage of these critical services leads to high probability of loss of life and property around the city.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, citizens and media practitioners have the right to access to information as is provided for by the Constitution
Section 62.

This law ensures that any citizen or journalist can approach the public bodies with request to information. It also enables women, girls, youths
and all vulnerable groups to participate in democracy, human rights and accountability as they can easily access information that contributes to monitoring of usage of public resources.

Nyari Mashayamombe

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