13 Nov 2017 16:10pm
ONGWEDIVA, 13 NOV (NAMP) Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa has expressed shock that a fire truck with an empty water tank was sent to tackle a fire outbreak at Ongwediva recently.
This comes after a fire broke out in the town last month, reducing the Ongwediva Town Lodge and a portion of Hotel Destiny to ashes in the presence of onlooking firefighters.
Speaking at the official inauguration of the Ongwediva Fire Station on Monday, Shaningwa said the towns fire brigade could not respond to a fire outbreak at the said lodge as the firefighting vehicle was sent to the scene with an empty water tank.
Firefighters from the sister towns of Oshakati and Ondangwa were then called in to assist.
I therefore wish to implore upon the Ongwediva Town Council to be ready and responsive at all times, Shaningwa stated, advising that all fire brigade vehicles be filled with water at all times to effectively respond to emergencies.
She also encouraged the community of Ongwediva and the surrounding areas, to make full use of the emergency services made available to them by the council, by reporting emergencies on time, so that they can also get timely responses.
During the 2014/15 financial year, the Government, through the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development availed an amount of N.dollars 3 million towards the construction of the first phase of the new fire station in Ongwediva.
Thereafter, Shaningwa said, the council carried on with the project by allocating an amount of N.dollars 5 million in order to complete the stations first and the second construction phases.
The station is yet to be provided with sleeping quarters for staff members to respond from the station during nights and weekends.
The fire station as it stands is a combined effort of both the Central Government and the Local Government, with an investment of N.dollars 8 million, Shaningwa told the audience.
Speaking at the same event, Oshana Regional Governor, Clemens Kashuupulwa noted that the fire station building was made possible through the collection of rates and taxes from the Ongwediva community.
Kashuupulwa went on to encourage the Ongwediva Town Council to continue prioritising the establishment of important facilities such as the fire station.
I also urge you to take care of this beautiful building and equipment and utilise it effectively to render these most needed emergency services at all times, he said.
The inauguration of the station coincided with the unveiling of several Ongwediva streets that are named after fallen and living Namibian heroes and heroines.