President Edgar Lungu says an effective and efficient fire and rescue service system is key to national development.
President Lungu says it is the PF government’s desire to uphold both human life and property, especially in the wake of recent fires that have destroyed property worth millions of kwacha.
The president says government will continue to ensure that the lives of Zambians are safeguarded, by revamping the sector.
President Lungu said this in Lusaka today, in a speech read on his behalf by Vice president Inonge Wina during the handover of 42 fire tenders to various councils in the country.
The 42 state-of-the-art fire tenders, bought at a cost of 42 million US Dollars will be distributed to 39 councils in the country.
And the president said government will construct eleven modern fire stations around the country, one for each provincial capital and also a modern fire and rescue training facility in Kabwe.
He said government fully appreciates the strategic role of the fire and rescue services in preventing loss of lives and property.
President Lungu has stated that the procurement of fire fighting and rescue equipment will remain an ongoing exercise until all the fire brigades in the country have been fully equipped.
The president has since urged the Ministry of Local Government to ensure that the beneficiary councils take care of the fire tenders and use them for the intended purpose.
He has also challenged recipient local authorities to be pro active and ambark on public sensitisation on fire safetyy measures, as prevention is much chaeper than reacting to fire accidents.
And Local Government minister Vincent Mwale said Zambia will have a Fire Policy by the end of this year.
The Fire Services section has also been elevated to a fully-fledged department in the Ministry.
Mr Mwale said never before has there been such significant investment in the fire sector in the history of the country, as the procurement of the 42 fire tenders.
He said the gesture fully demonstrates government’s commitment to saving lives and property throughout the country.