The Monitor :: Taking Fire Fighting To Ordinary Batswana
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Last Updated
Monday 17 December 2018, 16:18 pm.
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Taking Fire Fighting To Ordinary Batswana

As Botswana is prone to veldt fires, an entrepreneur, Fire Engineering Degree holder Maitumelo Mafhoko, saw it as an opportunity and started Mabapi Fire Services Training Institute.
By Pauline Dikuelo Mon 08 Oct 2018, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Taking Fire Fighting To Ordinary Batswana








The institute, which was opened two years ago, offers short-term courses and certificate in fire safety management, special fires, fireman ship level 1 to 3, veldt fire management, fire in construction, aviation fire and risk management.

In an interview with Monitor Business Mafhoko said after working in the industry for almost eight years, he decided to start his own training institution to sensetise the public about fire risk management.

“Locally people are ignorant about fire until it happens. We had veldt fires outbreaks in the past years and people were called in to intervene putting their lives in danger because they were not aware of what they were doing as they had no training on how to suppress veldt fires,” he said.

According to Mafhoko, the existing fire brigades do not have the capacity to cover the whole country as one station had to cover a large radius.

“It is important to train people on fire safety, for example Jwaneng Brigade covers the surrounding areas including Kang which is close to three hours away. If we have companies and councils training their staff on the safety, they can be able to assist in suppressing the fire when such instances happen while waiting for the Fire marshals to arrive,” he said.

Mabapi Fire Services Training

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Institute, which is Botswana Qualifications Authority accredited offers three days short-term courses and the six months certificate course. The institute is also affiliated to Institute of fire engineers.

Mafhoko said his Institute offers courses beyond basic training, which include fire risk audit and fire investment programmes.

“The reception has been impressive and has shown some growth as the number of people we train keeps growing every day,” Mafhoko explained.

However he said their biggest hurdle in their industry is lack of regulation, which he said creates room for loopholes in the market. In addition he decried lack of policies that requires architects, engineers and others to have knowledge of fire safety.

“As the economy grows and the mushrooming of the skyscrapers, it is important that the workers in those buildings are trained in fire safety to be safe for such unfortunate instances as at times by the time the fire rescue team arrives, more damage is done which could have been avoided,” he said. Mafhoko further shared his plans of forging partnerships with the private sector; government and councils to train their employees, which can benefit them even at home.

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