A firefighter from Grodzisk Wielkopolski together with a group of friends came up with the idea to set up a fire brigade in a small village in Tanzania. Thanks to the collected money, they bought and equipped a medium-sized fire extinguisher in Germany. The vehicle is on its way to Africa.
Jakub Walkowiak is a firefighter from Grodzisk Wielkopolski, who initiated the action “Extinguishing Africa” a few years ago. Objective: to purchase and equip a fire engine and deliver it to Butiama, Tanzania. As he argued, the nearest unit is located several dozen kilometers from Butiama. Meanwhile, fires and road accidents happen everywhere, also there.
Car by ferry, firefighters by plane
Thanks to the collected funds, it was possible to buy in Germany and partially equip a medium-sized fire extinguisher. It’s a used Mercedes. On Sunday, Walkowiak left for Germany to load the car on the ferry to Africa. – We’re headed towards Bremerhaven. On Monday, at the port, we will hand over the car to the ferry that leaves for Dar es Salaam in Tanzania on August 11. We will fly there by plane, on September 3 we will pick up the car and drive about a thousand kilometers to Butia, said Walkowiak. The combat vehicle that will go to Tanzania is already old, but it will certainly serve African friends for a long time. – This is a 30-year-old car with a mileage of about 30,000 kilometers. After the car was imported from Germany, we checked it at the local Mercedes service, it turned out that its condition is very good. The car is off-road and has a large cabin for eight people. It is a perfect car for African conditions – emphasized Walkowiak. And he added: – It is a car that can be easily repaired on the spot. A more modern vehicle would already require specialist service and specialists. For now, the car has been equipped with hoses, connectors, nozzles, distributors, but there are plans to equip it with specialized equipment, among others, helpful in handling car accidents.
They collected money, bought a wagon
The funds needed to buy a car were collected, among others, during family fairs, concerts, picnics and sports events organized throughout the region. Originally, the car was supposed to be shipped to Africa last spring. However, a pandemic stood in the way. According to the initial plans, the vehicle was to travel the entire route on its own wheels, eventually the organizers of the campaign decided to transport the car from Europe directly to Tanzania. Jakub Walkowiak assured that this year’s trip to Africa will not be the last. More trips are planned. In order to train firefighters there and provide them with other elements of the necessary equipment. – Local authorities know about our action, they are waiting for us and for the car, then they will form a fire brigade unit. Our action continues. Thanks to the funds raised, we will retrofit local firefighters and send volunteers to Tanzania to teach them – he said. The firefighter admitted that he was counting on the support of those willing and interested in further supporting African friends. For details and more information, please refer to the social media of the campaign “We are extinguishing Africa”.
Main photo source: TVN24