ZIMBABWE has received a range of modern firefighting equipment to bolster its ability to fight forest fires.
At a ceremony held in Mutare Saturday, the government welcomed the fire engines, rapid response vehicles, and cross-country motorcycles manufactured in Belarus and distributed by AFTRADE DMCC.
The firefighting vehicles delivered by AFTRADE DMCC at the ceremony in Mutare, Zimbabwe, on Saturday
“Forest fires pose an existential threat to our wildlife, our landscape and our way of life. I am very grateful for this firefighting equipment. It will enable Zimbabwe to fight back against the forest fires that ravage our nation,” President Emmerson Mnangagwa said in a statement.
Zimbabwe is among the most fire-prone countries in southern Africa. Over 1 million hectares of land are destroyed by wildland fires every year, resulting in the loss of agricultural produce, reduced food availability for both humans and animals, and lower growth rate of vegetation.
AFTRADE DMCC has delivered seven АЦ 11 fire trucks to Zimbabwe. This vehicle is designed to fight big fires, particularly in rural areas. Zimbabwe earlier had fire trucks with tanks of 5,000-6,000 litre capacity, while the АЦ 11 has a tank of 11,000 litres, almost twice as large. This larger capacity will allow fire crews to fight fires in hard-to-reach areas at a greater distance from their main base.
The АЦ 11 also has a high cross-country ability chassis, allowing easier and faster access to a fire site. Its tank is made of components that are resistant to corrosion and have a lifetime warranty. This significantly increases the service life of the fire truck itself.
“We are very pleased to be able to provide the latest firefighting technology to our African friends. Forest fires are a danger for all of humanity, and our manufacturers have provided a well-tested rugged solution for tackling these fires,” said Dmitry Kharitonchyk, Deputy Minister of Industry of Belarus.
Zimbabwe has also received five Toyota Hilux rapid response vehicles. Their high cross-country ability will increase the mobility of fire brigades and allow them to quickly fight fires, particularly in areas where companies are engaged in logging. Each rapid reaction vehicle carries a 500-litre container to quickly extinguish fires.
AFTRADE DMCC has supplied the southern African country with 30 cross-country motorcycles to monitor fire safety, as well as to control felling and logging, and to monitor the growth of trees and development of forests.
“We are working with Zimbabwe to ensure it has the right equipment it needs for the sustainable development of its forests. This will ensure the long-term protection of its tree cover,” said Aleksander Zingman, head of AFTRADE DMCC.
To support its forestry industry, Zimbabwe has ordered 10 drop-side trucks with high cross-country ability to deliver personnel and heavy equipment to wood harvesting sites. It has also received four dump trucks and seven fifth-wheel trucks, as well as six vehicles with a trailer and hydraulic manipulator for transporting logs from harvesting sites to sawmills for processing.