BEITBRIDGE — Beitbridge Town Council has reportedly entered into a partnership with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to beef up its firefighting equipment amid reports the local authority only has two firefighting tenders while construction of the fire station is being hampered by financial constraints.
Council secretary Sipho Singo told NewsDay last week they have since engaged Zimra which has two big fire tenders.
“The construction of the fire station here is going on, but very slowly due to lack of funds. We previously had a challenge in containing fire outbreaks in the town until we engaged Zimra,” said Singo.
“ Since then we are doing quite well and this has helped stop us from relying on Musina in South Africa in every case of fire outbreak.”
Singo said this year the local authority has set a budget of $150 000 for the construction of a firefighting station.
“We have cleared the site and we are likely to put a perimeter wall at the site before the end of this year.
“Next year is when we expect to start the construction of the infrastructure,” said Singo.
The local authority used to get assistance from Musina municipality whenever fire broke out.
Beitbridge and Musina municipality signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) sometime in 2004 to complement each other in critical areas such as disaster management.
He said given that Beitbridge was a transit point for many fuel tankers and haulage trucks, there was great need for the council to have a well-equipped fire station.
In 2008, Beitbridge council received two small fire engines from the Japanese Firefighters Association.
But the equipment is said to have not been operated due to lack of personnel and non-existence of a fire station.