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Otjimuise fire station operational two years after planned date

Residents of Otjomuise and informal settlements behind it (7de Laan, 8ste Laan, 9de Laan), Greenwell Matongo, Goreagab, Rocky Crest, Sam Nuuyoma drive (Daan Viljoen Road) MVA, Otjomuise road up to Monte Christo and other informal settlements in the area can now sleep peacefully at night knowing that there is an emergency unit closer to them. (Photograph by Lorato Khobetsi)

Residents of Otjomuise and informal settlements behind it (7de Laan, 8ste Laan, 9de Laan), Greenwell Matongo, Goreagab, Rocky Crest, Sam Nuuyoma drive (Daan Viljoen Road) MVA, Otjomuise road up to Monte Christo and other informal settlements in the area can now sleep peacefully at night knowing that there is an emergency unit closer to them. (Photograph by Lorato Khobetsi)

The Otjimuise Fire Station has finally been commissioned two years after it was initially expected to be completed. The cost of the fire station was supposed to be N$21 million but this figure has escalated to approximately N$30 million.
The Fire Station was expected to be completed by July 2011.
The station will provide emergency response coverage to most of the western suburb areas such as Otjomuise and informal settlement behind it (7de Laan, 8ste Laan,9de Laan), Greenwell Matongo and Goreagab, Rocky-Crest, Sam Nuuyoma drive (Dan Viljoen Road) MVA, Otjomuise road up to Monte-Cristo and other informal settlements in the area.

According to the Strategic Executive: Community Development Department at the City of Windhoek, Mujiwa Mayumbelo, the station was planned more than a decade ago, because of budget constraints it could not be undertaken earlier.
“We require more stations at strategic locations in our municipal area. We need these facilities and appropriate equipment to enhance the safety of our residents and their property,” he said.
He said, the City needs to rethink its town planning approach, whether it wants to go for a sprawling City or to ‘densify’ the City as both have their merits and demerits.
“However, the obvious disadvantages of a sprawling City are that the costs of providing services are much higher, example roads in km; distance and times to be travelled to work or to access services are longer. And for us – more fire stations, more police stations, more personnel and equipment,” added  Mayumbelo.
Windhoek Mayor, Agnes Kafula, said the fire station will bring about better service delivery in terms of emergency response to the residents especially the western suburban area.
“We all know that failure to provide appropriate, timely and well-organised responses to the wide variety of emergencies that occur in the City has life threatening or death consequences. It will improve our emergency response capability that will be reduced from the current approximately 10 minutes from the Head Quarter fire station to as low as 5minutes to an accident scene,” she said.
Major-General (retired) Charles Namoloh reminded the fire-fighters who were present at the event that this job is a 24hour job and requires someone in the job to have passion.
“It has become a disease in our country, people are just applying for jobs, they just come there for the cheques. This is a very beautiful facility, we want to see that it is being maintained because that is our problem. We should have inspections,” he said.
There are four fire stations in Windhoek including Otjomuise and three of these are operational. These are Maxuilili fire station, Diaz fire station in Suiderhof and the headquarters.
The Otjimuise fire station is the first to be completed of the three fire stations which were recommended in the City’s emergency risk assessment in 2004. The City plans to build two more fire stations in Olympia and Klein Windhoek.

 

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