Fire Brigade in wa­ter cri­sis panic

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili Chron­i­cle Cor­re­spon­dent

WA­TER short­ages in Bu­l­awayo are a threat to the city’s emer­gency ser­vices with the Fire Brigade warn­ing res­i­dents that it might be in­ca­pac­i­tated to deal with huge in­fer­nos.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity this week an­nounced the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a 72-hour wa­ter shed­ding regime due to fall­ing wa­ter lev­els in the sup­ply dams.

Some sub­urbs have gone for over a week with­out wa­ter.

In an in­ter­view, Bu­l­awayo Chief Fire Of­fi­cer Mr Richard Petersen said the Fire brigade has about 14 000 litres of wa­ter in its re­serves.

He said any fire in­ci­dents that would re­quire the brigade to use more than 14 000 litres would be cat­a­strophic.

“We’ve two wa­ter car­ri­ers at the mo­ment. One of the wa­ter car­ri­ers car­ries about 5 000 litres and the other about 9 000 so in such cases we will be hop­ing the in­ci­dent will not re­quire us­age of more than what we have in terms of wa­ter. It’s re­ally a cri­sis,” said Mr Petersen.

He said the present sit­u­a­tion makes it dif­fi­cult for res­i­dents to ex­tin­guish fires on their own.

“We’re so thank­ful of their re­sponse when a neigh­bour is faced by a fire sit­u­a­tion. At times when we get there, they would have al­ready ex­tin­guished the fire. But in this case, the like­li­hood of neigh­bours us­ing their last wa­ter to ex­tin­guish the fire might not hap­pen,” Mr Petersen said.

He ap­pealed to res­i­dents to con­tinue as­sist­ing each other dur­ing this dif­fi­cult pe­riod as the Fire brigade will find ways to com­pen­sate them for wa­ter that they would have used.

“As a brigade we will def­i­nitely find a way of re­im­burs­ing that per­son the wa­ter that they would have used to as­sist the neigh­bour. They should con­tinue with the good work they’ve been do­ing all along,” said Mr Petersen.

He said res­i­dents should guard against un­nec­es­sary fires that threaten their lives and their prop­er­ties.-@ nqot­shili

A mo­tor­cy­clist car­ries kids who are not wear­ing pro­tec­tive gear at Nkayi busi­ness cen­tre re­cently. Crash hel­mets are com­pul­sory when rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle

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