Statement by Christina Nikolaou, Head of Energy and Environmental Policy of the C.C. of AKEL

Comprehensive planning is required to combat fires

25 April 2024, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

Both the President of the Republic and the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment assured that the government has taken steps for the timely preparation and introduction of logistical equipment to combat any fires and that the process for the purchase of Aerial firefighting means is underway.

Yesterday, the fire that broke out in the Limassol State Forest revealed the huge shortcomings that exist, as well as the lack of aerial firefighting means, and as the Minister herself informed us, we don’t expect an increase in the number of our Aerial firefighting means before July.

Given what preceded the disastrous fires in previous years, and the ominous weather forecasts for the summer due to the prolonged drought, how is it possible for the Ministry and the Government to declare readiness, while the procedures for renting Aerial firefighting means have not been completed?

To combat such phenomena requires months of preparation and planning, which the government has failed to plan for.

Yesterday’s fires confirm AKEL’s position on the need to develop a comprehensive plan for combating fires and other natural disasters, both with regards prevention and suppression, but primarily in the rehabilitation of burnt areas. At the same time, there is an urgent need for the continuous coordination of all departments and services involved.

The President of the Republic must not only make announcements, but also take action.





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