The Government of India in a profound gesture to the Government and people of Liberia on Monday, 3 February donated five (5) fire trucks to the Liberia National Fire Service.
The donation was graced by President George Manneh Weah and his Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel F. McGill along with senior officials of the LNFS and other members of the Liberian government.
The Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of India to Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia, Y. K. SailasThangal, who officiated the formal ceremony, said the donation from his government and people demonstrates that Liberia/India relations is at another level. Accompanied by the Honorary Indian Consul General to Liberia, Mr. Upjit Singh Sachdeva, popularly known as Jeety here, Amb. Thangal appraised the bilateral ties between the two countries, which he notes, is being strengthened by the day.
The donation of the fire trucks comes barely two months after the Government of India similarly donated 45 buses to its counterpart here for public transport to ease transportation services in Liberia.
We applaud the Government and warm-loving people of India for the gesture to the people of Liberia. Both donations are not only needed, but timely.
Public transport services in Liberia is a serious challenge and the 45 buses would go a long in easing difficulties faced by travelers in commuting from one point to another across the country. More particularly however, the fire trucks to the Liberia National Fire Service are a life-saver, for a country of nearly 5 million people without a public fire truck, which is a serious national security concern.
Even headquarters of the Liberia National Fire Service in Monrovia is without a functioning fire truck to cater to the more the 1 million residents. Due to this situation, the capital has lost hundreds of lives and properties estimated millions of dollars to fire disasters.
This is why we call on all ordinary Liberians, including the Government of Liberia to laud the Government and people of India for the donations that will impact lives here significantly.
Liberia’s Fire Chief, Alex K. Dickson disclosed at the ceremony that because of the lack of fire trucks, fire fighters had resorted to using buckets to help citizens in putting off fire, lamenting that this is the first time since 1949, the LNFS has received five fire trucks at once.
We can but only hope these donations would be utilized wisely to serve the purpose for which they are provided. This would serve as motivation for future gestures from friendly governments and nations.