New firefighting equipment gears AfriForum’s Walker Drive Neighbourhood Watch even better for “flaming battles”

Sherwood, a community that knows all too well that dry, hot weather and forest and wildfires in the Windy City often go hand in hand, can breathe a sigh of relief after AfriForum’s Walker Drive Neighbourhood Watch recently received new firefighting equipment. This neighbourhood watch has been fighting fires alongside the local emergency services for quite some time. With the receipt of two new 600-litre firefighting units, known as Bakkie Sakkies, this neighbourhood watch is now even better equipped to fight fires efficiently.

A Bakkie Sakkie is an innovative concept in which a water tank is mounted on the back of a bakkie and with the help of a powerful water pump, transforms a bakkie into an efficient fire truck.

Although it is not the Walker Drive Neighbourhood Watch’s only task, firefighting forms a critical part of its safety focus – and for good reason. Earlier this month, it was announced that nearly 350 fires had broken out in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro within just 13 days. Furthermore, December to February are usually the driest months in this area and together with characteristically strong winds, emergency services and community organisations such as the Walker Drive Neighbourhood Watch are under immense pressure to fight fires at this time of year.

According to Hannes Oosthuizen, the Walker Drive Neighbourhood Watch Leader, the neighbourhood watch is grateful for the new equipment received. “The equipment had barely been unloaded when we received an emergency call about a fire in the Sherwood area,” he says.

“The two Bakkie Sakkies now enable the Walker Drive Neighbourhood Watch to respond more quickly to emergency calls, fight fires more efficiently and better prevent the spread of fires. Access to the right equipment and trained personnel are indispensable for this important task, but with these components, the Walker Drive Neighbourhood Watch is taking concrete steps to ensure the safety of its community,” emphasises Oosthuizen.

Oosthuizen also labels the new firefighting equipment as a “significant investment in the safety of the community”.

“AfriForum’s Walker Drive Neighbourhood Watch is a beacon of hope for the community. It is committed to the safety of its community and the purchase of this equipment highlights its commitment. Their dedication and continuous hard work are an inspiration to all of us,” says Wikus van der Walt, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Eastern Cape.

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