Presence of professional divers pleases Scott
Lusaka, July 5, ZANIS ——— Vice President Guy Scott is happy that Zambia is fortunate to have a cadre of professional divers who are ready to serve when calamities strikes.
Dr Scott however, noted with concern that some human bodies that submerge on water bodies Zambia is endowed with are not traceable.
Dr Scott says it is in this direction that Zambia should be prepared in emergency response systems.
The Vice President said this in Lusaka today when he handed over US $500,000 to the Ministry of Defence.
The donated items includes 15 oxygen gas cylinders, 10 military diving suits, 10 diving masks with snorkels, 1,500 kern mentie ropes, goggles, gloves, gauges, boots, under-water torches, a compressor and an under-water camera among others.
He said the equipment is in line with the Patriotic Front (PF) government to link emergency operations with first responders in order for Zambia to become disaster resilient.
Dr Scott also directed officials at the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under his office to be pro-active by taking more response capacities to vulnerable communities including institutions.
“Making Zambia safer will require strong first responder capacity because every year incidences of water vessels capsizing and drowning people causes significant loss of life and property on water bodies country-wide. Therefore, I direct the DMMU to take more response capacities to these communities,” said Dr Scott.
And Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba commended government for the gesture in procuring diving equipment directed at marine unit set and to be used by Zambia Army personnel.
Mr Mwamba assured the Vice President that the equipment will definitely save the Zambian people better and lessen the scenario of deaths caused by boats and other vessels capsizing on Zambian water bodies.
DMMU National Co-ordinator Patrick Kangwa disclosed that government is in the process of procuring additional diving equipment such as inflatable military boats and de-compression chambers from Israel before the end of this year.
Mr Kangwa said reducing risk responses to disasters calls for concerted efforts and should not be just left to the DMMU alone.
The hand-over ceremony of the diving equipment at the Disaster Management centre in Lusaka today was witnessed by Defence chiefs, Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President Davies Mwango, DMMU and senior government officials.