Amb. Thangal (middle) flanked by Acting Min. of MoFA and Mr. Sachdeva
The government and people of India on Monday February 3, donated five fire trucks to the Liberian National Fire Service or LNFS which has been without a functioning fire truck for months.
The LNFS is the government’s institution responsible to fight fire outbreak within the country, but it has been near non-functional for the past months due to the lack of fire trucks.
The LNFS lost its only functional fire truck to angry crowd about three months ago in “Black Gina”, a community located in Jacob Town, a suburb of Paynesville, simply because fire fighters failed to rescue a burning house in the community.
Monday LNFS Fire Chief Alex K. Dickson told the audience with President George Weah seated and flanked by his Minister of State, Mr. Nathaniel F. McGill that due to the lack of fire trucks, fire fighters had resorted to using buckets to help citizens in putting off fire.
The lack of fire trucks in the country is not a new phenomenon here, in fact, according to Director Dickson, this is the first time since 1949, that the department is welcoming five fire trucks at once.
Meanwhile, presenting the fire trucks,H.E. Y. K. Sailas Thangal, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of India to Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia said the donation demonstrates that the 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, saying it is being strengthen by the day and that these forms of donations only speaks to the healthy relations between the two countries.This donation comes few months after the India Government donated 45 buses to be used in the metropolitan areas to ease transportation services here.
Amb. Thangal said experts from the company that manufactured those buses were already in country to train operators and that containers loaded with its spare parts were already on their way to Liberia.
He added that in the same vein, an expert from the company which produced the fire trucks will also be in the country soon to train fire fighters on how to use machines.
Amb. Thangal urged personnel of the Liberia fire department and staff at the Liberia National Transport Authority to make use of the experts that are coming in country to train them.
He thanked President Weah for his presence at the donation ceremony saying it indicates seriousness to which he attached the India-Liberia relationship.
Speaking on behalf of President Weah and the government and people of Liberia, State Minister McGill thanked the government and people of India for their kind gesture, saying that the Liberian government is pleased with the donations.He asked that Amb. Thangal extends the Liberian government’s thanks and appreciation to the President and Prime Minister of India.
Mr. McGill also reminded the Indian Government of the Mahatma Gandhi Conference Hall and the Balli Island protects, adding that President Weah is committed and concern.
(L-R) Pres. Weah, Min. McGill, Amb. Thangal, Mr. Sachdeva and Justice Min. Dean