Bighearted fire personnel will travel to West Africa to hand deliver two fire engines, donated by Kildare County Council, to the remote province of Zinder, as part of Plan International Ireland’s “Fire Engine to Niger” project.
Members of the service will make the long journey by sea, followed by 1000km by road, to deliver the equipment which will help thousands of people access water and emergency services in one of the world’s most impoverished nations.
This will be the sixth time which Plan International Ireland has facilitated the transport of fire and emergency vehicles to the Zinder province Niger. The Zinder province of Niger is one of the world’s driest regions and is regularly afflicted by water shortages and drought. The vehicles will provide an emergency response to a region which is grossly short of disaster response services.
“In times of drought, fire engines help to bring water to the most remote communities. We are certain that the fire engines and emergency vehicle will be of great benefit to children and communities in Niger. Thanks to Irish fire-fighters, the local authorities who donated the vehicles and the support of all those who’ve donated to help the fire personnel make the journey, thousands will now have access to equipment that will be life saving for the communities it supports,” said Plan International Ireland, CEO David Dalton.
Before the project began, there was just one fire engine to service in region to service a population of 2.4 million.
The vehicles will be shipped from Cork to the coastal town of Cotonou in the neighbouring country of Benin. The Irish team will then take the vehicles on the arduous 1,000km cross country trek to Niger. When they arrive they will set up a training camp to teach local fire-fighters how to effectively use the equipment.