Kiambu County has acquired four state-of-the-art fire engines in an effort to boost response to emergencies.
The modern equipment will be dispatched to Thika, Kikuyu, Limuru and the County’s Disaster Management Centre in Karuri and will complement the existing ones in Ruiru, Kiambu and Thika.
While launching the distribution exercise in Thika town, Kiambu Governor James Nyoro said the 10,000 litres capacity engines have been equipped with facilities to respond to any type of disaster, and have been fitted with flood lights to actively battle emergencies no matter the time of the day.
He said the new equipment will help in responding to disasters in areas that had challenges before including Kikuyu, Limuru and Lari.
“In Kikuyu and Kabete, we had to rely on the fire engine in Kiambu town, though Nairobi County also helped us a lot,” he said.
He said they will be entering into an agreement with entrepreneurs with water tankers to be accompanying the fire engines to the emergency sites to refill the engines in case their water gets depleted.
The governor said through their partnership with the Poland Government, they have a big centre for firefighting in Kiambu town. The partnership has helped in training their firefighting personnel.
He said the county’s response to disasters has been commendable, citing their timely interventions in helping out those who were trapped in a building that recently collapsed while under construction near Thika Greens in Murang’a County last month.
“We have also helped people trapped in flood zones especially in Kilimambogo area when Athi River breaks bank. We shall be conducting more training on our disaster response team to enhance their capabilities,”Nyoro said.
County Fire Officer Samuel Kahura said the county’s disaster prevalence is high, noting that on average they respond to 200 fires, 50 road accidents and 60 water rescues annually.
He said the new equipment will boost their ability to respond to disasters on time.
Kahura at the same time decried encroachments saying they have derailed their efforts to arrive at disaster scenes on time.
“The fire engines will boost our effectiveness in responding to disasters. However, we also face challenges of inaccessibility to scenes of disaster due to encroachment,” he said.
By Muoki Charles