Tanzania’s national Fire and Rescue Force is in dire need of working equipment, forcing agency officers to purchase personal items such as uniforms.
The government agency entrusted with regulating the industry and providing professional services in the area of disaster prevention and taming, according to its Commissioner General, Thobias Andengenye, needs improved budget.
He said the force needed new vehicles for fire rescue as the available ones were dilapidated, saying this was causing inefficiency, thus complaints from the public.
Speaking at the launch of an annual meeting of the force’s officers here yesterday, the commissioner noted that in the 2017/18 financial period his department budgeted 100m/- for uniforms but the amount was not enough.
“As you can see, officers have uniforms whose colours are slightly mismatched because they are forced to buy their own. The slight variation of colours is because they are from different sources,” he told the Minister for Home Affairs Mwigulu Nchemba.
The Tanzania Fire and Rescue force’s purpose is to enhance community safety, quality of life and confidence by minimising the impact of hazards, thus such shortage of equipment, according to Andengenye is a great setback to its task.
He went further to state that the small budget allocated to his department was affects the implementation of their duties. “In the 2015/16 the force implemented budget through retention and planned to collect 35.4 billion shillings but only 15.9 billion shillings was realized, being 45 per cent of the target,” he said.
The commissioner added that in 2016/17, the system was cancelled in all government institutions and departments and in the same year only 2.7 billion shillings was budgeted for the force, being an average of 231 shillings per month.He said unfortunately by the end of the financial year only Sh 726 million was disbursed by the treasury, adding that the poor disbursement of funds affected the force’s operations.
He noted that in the 2017/18 the department was allocated 4 billion shillings for other expenses , which was equivalent to 333.9 shillings per month, but the amount was not enough for the intended purpose.
The Commissioner also lamented over the high charges on water used for rescue purposes charged by other government agencies.