First, by ferry from Europe to the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, then over a thousand kilometers of travel on land. A fire truck bought thanks to an action launched by a Polish firefighter has already reached its destination. There it will be used for its intended purpose: to extinguish fires.
The “Extinguishing Africa” campaign was initiated years ago by Jakub Walkowiak, a firefighter from Grodzisk Wielkopolski. His goal was to buy and equip a fire engine and deliver it to Tanzania, specifically to Butia, where Polish monks work.
Walkowiak came up with the idea of delivering a fire engine to Tanzania after a meeting with a missionary, Fr. Daniel Hinc. Thanks to the determination of the Greater Poland firefighter and thanks to the collected funds, it was possible to buy and partially equip a used Mercedes in Germany. The car is 30 years old, has a mileage of about 30,000 kilometers, and is in very good condition. – The car is off-road, has a large cabin for eight people. This car is perfect for African conditions – it can be easily repaired on the spot. A more modern vehicle would already require specialist service and specialists – said Walkowiak.
At the beginning of August, we informed about the last ones on TVN24 firefighters preparations before traveling to Africa. Now the car is in place.
The car coped with African roads
– The car has arrived at its destination, a fire brigade is being set up on the spot – the first three people assigned to service this car have already been hired. We initially trained these people, taught them how to use the car and the equipment – said Jakub Walkowiak on Friday. As he added, the Mercedes fire truck performed perfectly on African roads.
– From more serious events: due to our absent-mindedness, one kilometer before the finish line the fuel ran out, it had to be delivered. The sound signals stopped working on the road, but it was enough to replace the fuse. We hope that the car will serve you for a long time. We were enthusiastically welcomed by firefighters on site, our entry to Butia was sensational and surprised the local population – he said.
This is not the end, it is the beginning
– On the way from the port to Butia, we visited, among others primary school, which is looked after by the Fundacja Maj Przyszłość, also cooperating with us. During our stay in Africa, we also visited an orphanage supported by this foundation – said Walkowiak.
The firefighter emphasized that the delivery of the car to Butiama did not end the entire operation – funds are still being collected for retrofitting the vehicle and for training Tanzanian firefighters. – These are already plans, if all goes well, for next year – he noted.
Main photo source: FB- We extinguish Africa