By Godfrey Olukya
KAMPALA, Uganda (AA) - Uganda has invented a versatile firefighting vehicle which it intends to introduce in the U.S. and Australia.
The two countries have in the past suffered from massive wildfires which have led to the loss of lives and destruction of big forests and homes worth billions of U.S. dollars.
Ugandan Presiddent Yoweri Museveni unveiled the country’s first prototype army tanker truck Tuesday designed for all-terrain firefighting which can also be used for pest control with minimum human interaction.
"The tanker, manufactured by the production arm of National Enterprises Corporation under the ‘All Terrain Fighting Project’ in Nakasongola district, was thought out by the President, who tasked the engineering section to develop a concept that combines army trucks with fire and pest control mechanisms on all terrains," said a statement released by Presidential Press Secretary Lindah Nabusayi.
According to Nabusayi, Museveni invited Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Uganda Christopher Krafft to witness the unveiling ceremony.
The president noted that people in the West are faced with many wildfires but had not mastered the concept of firefighting very well. He said in Africa, firefighting was done traditionally but is now being modernized and he decided to combine firefighting with military trucks that can travel on any terrain.
“We used to use rudimentary methods of fighting fires like using tree branches…but now we have combined military knowledge in building this to help with fires and pest control. I also want to introduce this to the Americans because they have huge fires. America, Europe and Australia have experienced some of the worst fire epidemics,” Museveni said.
Gerald Lumu, the deputy general manager and chief engineer in charge of the project at the army facility in Nakasongola, also commented.
“This machine was a mastermind of the Commander-In-Chief, General Yoweri Museveni, having thought about how to modify the traditional way of putting out fires,” he said.