Minister of Local Government and Housing, Hon. Emmanuel Chenda, has urged all Local Authorities to prioritise fire safety awareness activities to prevent fire accidents.
The Minister has also called upon everyone intending to build a house to subject their building plans to the scrutiny and approval of the council in their areas of jurisdiction before building in order to comply with the building standards, which include fire safety.
The Minister was speaking recently when he visited a house for Mr. Michael Munukayumbwe in Chongwe District whose house was gutted by fire that started from one of the rooms. The 11- roomed house, with an estimated value of more than K200m was gutted to rubbles with almost all the household goods valued in thousands of Kwacha. Hon. Chenda said the Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing had prioritised procurement of fire-fighting and rescue equipment because it appreciated the sensitivity and strategic importance of the fire and rescue services industry to the lives of the people and the overall socio-economic development agenda of the government.
The government was however constrained by limited resources to equip all the fire brigades with fire tenders at ago because one fire tender was costing more than K1.5 million. Hence, the process of providing fire-fighting equipment to councils was gradually done depending on the availability of resources from the national treasury and Co-operating Partners such as the Government of Japan. Meanwhile, there was need to embark on fire safety sensitization to everyone: households, builders, premise owners and tenants to prevent fire accidents.
Germany committed to strengthen local governance for improved service delivery
The German Government through the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is committed to further provide support to the Government of Zambia in the area of decentralisation and local governance, says Head of German Development Cooperation Dr. Frank Hofmann.