Four Burundian provinces lack fire trucks

The lack of firefighting equipment and trained personnel is the main challenge faced by the Civil Protection Police Unit. Four provinces namely Bubanza, Cankuzo, Mwaro and Bujumbura are not equipped with fire trucks.

A fire truck in action

A fire truck in action

“Houses, shops and markets were set on fire in Bujumbura as well as in the country during the year 2016. Civil Protection intervened according to its means”, Anicet Nibaruta, Deputy Director of Civil Protection Police Unit told journalists on the occasion of the World Day of Civil Protection on 1 March. He did not provide damage statistics, though.

Nibaruta says the lack of proper firefighting equipment and trained staff is the main challenge the Civil Society Police Unit faces to fully complete its mission. “All provinces of the country have a fire truck except Bubanza, Bujumbura, Mwaro and Cankuzo,” says Nibaruta.

He also raises the problem of professional staff. “The civil protection has an experienced personnel on firefighting but which is insufficient. Most of them have reached the retirement age,” he says.

Public awareness is needed

The Deputy-Director of Civil Protection calls on the public cooperation in case of fire eruption. “They can call on the toll-free number which is 113. We ask that the call be made by a person capable of giving an accurate identification of the place where the incident occurred,” he says.

For him, there is a need to raise awareness of people on the construction of houses and especially floor buildings. “It is important that they have stairs and emergency exits,” says Nibaruta.

He calls on company owners to approach the civil protection branch to provide the training on firefighting to their personnel.

The Deputy Director of Civil Protection Unit demands users of public roads to give way to these fire trucks in case of emergency intervention.

He demands Ministry of Public Security and its partners to redouble efforts to provide equipment to rescue Burundian people effectively.