School children from Courtney Selous Primary in Greendale are being challenged to illustrate the City’s by-laws on home fires. Over the month of October, the whole school was divided into groups and treated to a presentation from the Greendale Fire Station, which saw the firefighters driving onto the school grounds in their fire engine.
Now the students are throwing their imaginations onto paper in a competition, which will see one student win school fees for a term.
The by-law says: ‘No person shall: a) make a fire, or b) light any receptacle containing inflammable or combustable materials, or c) burn any grass, wood, straw, waste paper or other combustable materials, in such manner to endanger the safety of any person, animal, vehicle, goods, building or land.’
Emmerson Manyika, leading firefighter at Greendale Fire Station led the presentations. He encouraged the children to understand the by-laws and to share the information with their parents when they went home.
“It is a crime to start a fire without the knowledge of the Fire Station. If you want to start a fire, you have to notify us. Controlled burning can only take place between 4–6pm,” he explained.
He also educated the children about the dangers of filling in the hydrants around the city with litter and dirt, so that they are not accessible to the firefighters if a fire breaks out.
The children were very excited throughout the presentation, keenly asking questions and answering those put to them by the firefighters. Demonstrations about the different parts of the fire engine saw a flurry of hands go up into the air, curiosity about how it works getting the better of any shyness.
The winner of the competition will be announced on the 22 November. The challenge was spearheaded by Greendale Fire Station with support from a local hairdresser to help raise awareness about the issue of burning.
The Greendale Fire Station is one of the four fire stations in Harare. In this initiative, they are working with Courtney Selous as the school most local to the station. However Manyika hopes that they will be able to extend the awareness building campaign to other schools.
If you would like to support this, make a donation at Chris’ Hair Salon at the Hub in Chisipite.