Is The City capable of handling emergencies?
The Economist learned through a source that when The Law Society building got flooded on Sunday, The City of Windhoek’s Emergency Management Unit, did not respond in time and that they did not have the right equipment nor were they able to use the equipment. And this begs the question-Will the City’s Emergency Unit be capable of handling much more serious emergencies, if and when people’s lives are at risk?
The Economist spoke to The City about these allegations and they responded by saying the records in the control room show that the call came in at 20:26 and the crew was dispatched at the same time, arriving on the scene at 20:32. They also said that if this time does not correspond with the caller’s then proof of time called is needed from the caller inorder for corrective measures to be taken. The City added that the delay might have occurred because they had to fetch/wait for the second portable pump to arrive.
The City said that upon receiving a call from the public at night, the crew dispatches immediately and arriving on scene will depend on the distance to be covered and how busy the road might be.
They also emphasised that they are well equipped with tools that can handle more serious emergencies and this has been demonstrated over the past years, most notably the Dolam flood and other equally threatening emergencies such as building fires and rescues. “The City has dealt with major flooding before such as vehicles with occupants being washed away by flood water in riverbeds and our crew has successfully rescued victims,” said The City.
Responding to the allegation that the crew only had one flash light which did not work properly, The City said that they do have enough flash lights and if the crew finds out that more lights are not needed, they might just use one. “We are also equipped with bigger flood lights, and therefore in the case of the flooding incident at The Law Society, the flash light was only needed when the crew started the portable pump, the building external lights provided sufficient visibility,” The City concluded.
The Emergency Management Division provides services that include suppression, fire prevention, emergency medical services, heavy rescue, water rescue, hazardous material response and community awareness safety education in an effort to enhance the safety and quality of life for the people of the City of Windhoek.