Dateline Africa: Establishing a New Fire Station

Residents of Malawi’s second largest city, Lilongwe, have long been content with one fire station. But as the town continues to grow both in population (estimated at 860,000) and area, this fire station can no longer effectively serve its 680 square kilometer zone.

Realizing the need for a fire-fighting facility that would service the city’s industrial area, Circle for Integrated Community Development (CICOD) brought together a consortium of businesses working in Kanengo, the heart of Lilongwe’s industrial district, with the common aim of setting up a fire substation.

With a grant from the Monsanto Fund in the amount of $48,600, the Kanengo consortium acquired a fire engine as a first step toward establishing this new fire station. The new fire engine is now in the hands of the Lilongwe City Council, which oversees its day-to-day running, staffing and maintenance.

Since it was commissioned, the fire engine has assisted those in the Kanengo area during fire emergencies. Fitted with standard rescue gear, the fire engine has proved invaluable in-road accident rescue response and fire rescue response, including extinguishing fires in eight houses in Lilongwe.