Campaign for Fire Free Zambia (CAFZAM) executive director Jackson Ngoma says there is need for the country to appreciate the fire trucks donated by the United States government even if the vehicles are not what Zambians expected.

And Africa Fire Mission founder Davey Moore says fire remains everyone’s problem and people should come together to address the havoc it causes.

Speaking at the official opening of the International Fire Fighters’ Training Workshop, supported by the Africa Fire mission in collaboration with Eden University, Monday, Ngoma argued that the second-hand donated equipment was better than nothing.

“I also want to recognize the contribution made by our First Lady to the Fire Service in Zambia. You will agree with me that we had a donation of three fire trucks, which are in Zambia as we speak. This equipment will go a long way in mitigating the effects of disasters in Zambia. Of course, some areas in Zambia have actually criticized the type of equipment that has been contributed. But we know, half a loaf is better than nothing! And if you were hungry and someone gave you the type of food that you did not need, will you castigate that person because you needed the chicken and chips? And you say that it is not enough because you have been given the wrong type of food? We want to give a round of applause to the First Lady for the job well done!” said Ngoma, amidst a rapturous applause from the audience.

And Moore stressed that fires ought to be managed effectively.

“When it comes to fire, it is not a problem for the government or the university, but fire is everybody’s fight. We must come together in a holistic manner so that we can address the problems that fire faces. Fire is a wonderful tool; it gives us light but, it must be managed appropriately and effectively. And everyone must know its dangers and how to control it and together we look forward to working with and serving you so that community members know how safely to use fire in their homes. We look forward to develop more programmes like the ones here at Eden University and the fire training schools at the Airport and Kabwe to help fire fighters have the knowledge that they need to working with communities and government to ensure that they are enough firefighters and fire apparatus to meet the needs for each community,” said Moore.

Meanwhile, Eden University Vice-Chancellor Professor Mutuku Mutinga said the outcome of workshop would result in many joint ventures in the field of firefighting training programmes.

“We are very confident also that the outcome of this joint workshop will result in very strong beginning of many future joint ventures in the field of firefighting training and many other firefighting and rescue management training programmes. We trust that the mutual relationships will open doors for future bilateral support both in technical and human resource development,” said Prof Mutinga.