Three new firefighting trucks and related equipment were offered today to the community volunteer fire and rescue stations in the localities of Baimaclia, Pîrlița and Sărăteni, which will serve about 55 rural communities with a total population of over 80,000 inhabitants.

The fire trucks and equipment were purchased with the financial assistance provided by the Austrian Development Agency, in the framework of the "Disaster and Climate Risk Reduction" Project, implemented by UNDP.

"The endowment of the firefighting stations with the intervention vehicle and with compliant protective equipment for volunteer firefighters is an important measure in the effort to reduce the risks of disasters and ensure citizens safety from the beneficiary community and those in the neighborhood area. We do believe that our fire trucks donation will help firefighters better handle unique situations, such as natural disasters or man-made fires! The Austrian Development Cooperation will continue to support in Moldova actions meant to increase communities’ resilience to prevent disasters due to climate change in short, medium and long term,” said Gunther Zimmer, Counsellor & Head of the ADA Coordination Office, Austrian Embassy, Chisinau.

The vehicles, with a capacity of 1,600 liters each, will be used to both extinguish fires and in other exceptional situations, even in communities with difficult roads. The trucks are equipped with hydraulic engines, high-performance motor pumps and are worth a total of about EUR 225.000.

"The successful completion of the intervention missions depends a lot on firefighters' equipment, which must be designed to ensure their own protection and protection of the communities at risk. That is why I am firmly convinced that this donation is very useful and necessary to the localities of the country, which will allow volunteer firefighters the opportunity to provide prompt and high-quality services in emergency situations and most importantly, to save human lives in their communities," noted Mihail Harabagiu, Head of the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

"This donation gives our communities more security, confidence and hope that we will see fewer fires than before, and losses of property and the number of deaths will decrease. Only during the first nine months of this year, there were 435 interventions by firefighters in Ungheni district,” said Ludmila Nistor, mayor of Pîrlița village.

With financial support from Austria within the UNDP project "Disaster and Climate Risk Reduction", volunteer firefighters and rescuers, who will work at community stations in the three localities, will be trained how to intervene in cases of fire with special equipment and vehicles and how to ensure safety of people during emergency cases.

Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova, said: "Today’s donation of three fully equipped firefighting vehicles and protective equipment for rescuers and volunteers, is an important step towards building local resilience from which will benefit in the first instance the most vulnerable groups from these communities. Based on several assessments, it is already acknowledged that the Republic of Moldova is highly vulnerable to climate change considering its economic structure and geographic features. Due to the current and projected abnormal high temperatures, the incidence of fires is increasingly posing a threat to the environment and community. Human and material losses caused by exceptional situations and fires remain significant. Empowering and equipping the local communities is central to managing climate and disaster risk as well as are the multi-stakeholder partnerships Let’s us further join our effort for climate and disaster actions and stay united towards this cause!"

During 2019 – 2022, the "Disaster and Climate Risk Reduction" Project, which is implemented with the financial support of the Austrian Development Agency and with the financial assistance of Estonia, contributes towards enhancement of resistance and resilience of rural communities to climate change and disasters, through improvement of the infrastructure for storage of water, and rehabilitation and equipment of community fire-fighting and rescue stations in Cantemir, Criuleni, Hincesti, Leova and Ungheni districts. The project also aims to develop decision-making capacities and raise awareness of the local population in the five districts about such measures as mitigation, prevention and response to climate changes and disaster risks.

Contact person: Natalia Costaș, Communication and Media Relations Consultant, UNDP Moldova. Tel.: 0 69 22 11 41; e-mail: natalia.costas@undp.org

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