Uganda unveils ‘first locally made firefighting truck
London, April 8, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Uganda has unveiled its first prototype firefighting truck it said has been designed for all-terrain firefighting situations.
According to the country’s President Yoweri Museveni, the firefighting truck “can also be used for pest control with minimum human interface.”
He wrote on Twitter to announce the unveiling of the vehicle saying “Today (Tuesday), we unveiled Uganda’s first prototype army truck designed for all-terrain firefighting situations.”
Greetings. Today, I observed the launching of a prototype of an African firefighting vehicle at Nakasongola. This vehicle is a convergence of 2 ideas that have been part of my life. The 1st idea is the traditional way of putting out bushfire ( okuteera omuriro ogw'ekishugyi). pic.twitter.com/vk592mN8Xa— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) April 7, 2020
“In suppressing bushfire, using appropriate tree branches, you tackle the bushfire from the rear (okugureetwa aha mugongo).
The bushfire is always driven by the wind. If the wind is blowing from the East to the West, the fire will burn from the East to the West,” he added.
Museveni also noted that “Whenever I watch people in Western countries fighting fire on the TV, I do not see any systematic pattern of abating this issue – the angle from which you attack the fire. Hence, the first idea of this vehicle is the African idea of fighting the fire from the rear.”
The Ugandan president explained how the vehicles were built saying “After consulting our engineers, we decided to convert a tracked military vehicle into a fire fighting vehicle by removing the guns and the turret and replacing them with a water tank with hoses for spraying water.
Therefore, after consulting our engineers, we decided to convert a tracked military vehicle into a fire fighting vehicle by removing the guns and the turret and replacing them with a water tank with hoses for spraying water.— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) April 7, 2020
In our opinion, such a tracked vehicle (moving on chains) is better than aircraft or vehicles which are moving on wheels and are, therefore, road-bound.”
In 2012, the Ugandan army partnered with Impala Services and Logistics Limited, a South African company to start assembling the armored vehicles locally.
In 2018 Uganda’s military armored vehicles named Nyoka were tested in Somalia to fight the Al Shabaab insurgents.
The Nilepost quoted Museveni that year saying that “The Americans had never seen these vehicles and when they saw them in Somalia, they wanted to take them(Nyokas) away.”
“Instead of being happy that Uganda has made such a vehicle, they wanted to take them away. What sort of Christians are those?” Museveni added.
It was reported that some experts believe the Nyoka vehicles at the time of their unveiling had extra of three machine gun posts plus extra firing holes compared to the South African buffalo that comes with one gun.