Polska pomoc


Provision of training and equipment for rescue services in Kenya and Ethiopia

Rapid population growth, climatic changes (including the El Niño effect), and the explosive growth of cities, along with budding industrialisation mean a significant increase in the threat of both natural disasters and man-made catastrophes. This situation creates multiple hitherto unknown challenges for firefighters, starting with fires in multi-storey buildings, through needs of evacuation of people from higher levels, to fires in poverty-stricken districts. Local rescue services do not always cope well during fire-fighting operations, especially in high-rise buildings or with organising search-and-rescue operations related to various types of natural disasters. Fire-fighting units in Kenya and Ethiopia are not adequately prepared to face these challenges, especially considering the lack of professional skills and equipment. In both countries there is no institutional fire-fighting training system, either on the central level or in individual rescue units. Fire-fighters with long employment history lack many basic skills, and the know-how required to pass on their experience to recruits.

The project is a continuation of activities conducted in Kenya and Ethiopia in 2014-2015 within the frameworks of projects financed from the Polish developmental cooperation funds. Thanks to training and re-equipping with specialist hardware, the effectiveness and level of professional fire-fighters’ skills is significantly improving. From the experience so far, it follows that the firefighting and rescue services’ development projects financed from Polish resources helped the authorities in Kenya and Ethiopia mobilise to provide additional funds. The committed funds from Polish aid contribute to local authorities’ investments in construction and renovation of firefighting posts, additional firefighters are employed, and specialist hardware is purchased. The scale of operations so far has impacted the development of firefighting structures in both countries.

Developing firefighting structures and increasing their effectiveness contributes to an increased safety of new investments and creation of jobs. The support in the abovementioned matters indirectly pertains to developing systemic solutions regarding the forecasted significant increase in urbanisation in Ethiopia.

Provision of training and equipment for rescue services in Kenya and Ethiopia

This is a modular project. The first module was carried out from 1 April to 31 December 2016. The second module will be executed from 1 January until 31 December 2017.

The project served the purpose of implementation of the priority measure ‘Environment Protection’ set forth in the framework of the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme for 2016-2020.

The project was executed by the Polish Center for International Aid (PCPM) in cooperation with local partners including the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, County Government of Kiambu, Murang'a County Government, and Government of Machakos County - Directorate of Emergency and Rescue Services.

The general goal of the project was to increase the capacity of firefighting and rescue services in coping with risks and consequences of natural disasters and man-made catastrophes in three counties of Kenya and eight cities in Ethiopia. Moreover, an additional goal of the project was to increase fire safety, as well as making the regions covered by the project much more attractive to investment.

The direct beneficiaries of the project have been 15 firefighting units in three counties of Kenya (Murang'a, Thika, and Machakos – a total of seven units) and in eight cities of Ethiopia: Bahir Dar, Gonder, Dessie, Kombolcha, Dilla, Hawassa, Hossaena, and Sodo. Another direct beneficiary of the project was the firefighting and emergency rescue personnel in Kenya (altogether 231 firefighters and paramedics) and the firefighting personnel in eight units in Ethiopia (a total of 94 firefighters). Indirect beneficiaries of the project are populations of cities and counties where the firefighting units covered by training and re-equipping are located, as well as residents of nearby settlements (in Kenya: approximately 1 million people; in Ethiopia: 1.65 million people).

Kiambu County, which has been using the training aid within the Polish aid programme for firefighters the longest, was described by the Secretary General of the Kenya Fire Brigade Association (KENFIBA) as the best prepared for crisis and emergency operations in Kenya. To a large extent, it has been made possible thanks to the cooperation with the PCPM, a feather in the cap of the county’s authorities.

Further training on a more advanced level in 2017 will be carried out in eight cities of Ethiopia in the Amhara region and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region and in two Kenyan counties of Kiambu and Murang’a. Additional specialist equipment will also be purchased.

Provision of training and equipment for rescue services in Kenya and Ethiopia

The project measures included conducting training sessions and providing hardware support in Ethiopia and Kenya, as well as a study visit of Kenyan fire-fighters in Poland.

Direct project outcomes:

  1. 344 fire-fighters and rescue service personnel in Kenya and Ethiopia completed training prepared and conducted by PCPM experts;
  2. 17 training sessions on reacting to natural disaster situations were conducted in Kenya;
  3. nine training sessions on reacting to natural disaster situations were conducted in Ethiopia;
  4. seven sets of firefighting and personal protection equipment for Kenyan firefighting units and volunteer firefighters in Kenya were purchased;
  5. eight sets of firefighting and personal protection equipment for Ethiopian firefighting units were purchased;
  6. in Ethiopia, 90 hours of training were conducted. The training covered operating rescue hardware, including pumps, a rescue and firefighting vehicle and hydraulic shears;
  7. seven natural disaster reaction procedures have been developed and implemented, including rescue operation management, handling of hazardous materials, and evacuation of victims;
  8. five representatives of the Kenyan Fire Brigade paid a study visit to Poland.