In recent years, the city of Malabo has undergone rapid growth and development. Urban areas are becoming more crowded, and high-rise residential and commercial buildings are being built in Malabo Dos.
With this growth and new construction comes an increased risk of fires, which has stretched the capacity of the Malabo Fire Department (MFD). As a result, the MFD occasionally requests support from the Punta Europa Fire Departments, which creates operational risk for the Punta Europa entities.
To help develop modern fire-fighting capability for Malabo, Marathon Equatorial Guinea Production Limited (MEGPL) has partnered with the MFD to perform a comprehensive needs assessment of current equipment and training. The enhanced ability to fight fires in Malabo will help not only the local community, but also Punta Europa employees and their families.
Industrial Emergency Services (IES), a global fire safety and training company that also operates fire services for MEGPL and AMPCO, was contracted to do the baseline assessment.
The assessment began with tours of Malabo, Malabo Dos and surrounding communities to assess fire risk, vehicle access and water supplies. Next, IES and the MFD held detailed discussions to determine what equipment and training is needed to better prepare the MFD to protect the Malabo community from fire.
IES is conducting the assessment for free as part of its corporate social responsibility program, but working with the MFD has deeper significance for IES.
IES’s donation of time and resources has allowed for MEGPL to release immediate funding for urgent items to improve the safety of firefighters. The MFD already has received high-quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and an air compressor to recharge the SCBA cylinders.
Deogracias Bokara, Community Services Coordinator in the MEGPL Social Responsibility Department, is the project lead. “This assessment will be the first phase of a multi-year project,” notes Bokara. “A second phase in 2010 will focus on priority training for MFD leadership and personnel, address the maintenance and repair of existing equipment, and provide new equipment best suited to fight the types of fires most likely to occur in Malabo.”
MEGPL Fire Department Captain Lonnie Mullen commented, “There is a partnership and brotherhood of firefighters, anywhere in the world….we look out for each other.” He continued, “It’s a great honor to work with these guys.”
Like in Malabo, some of the mainland companies are fairly structured and organized, while others are just beginning to establish themselves. EG LNG’s National Content department has plans to offer training and other forms of support to SMEs in the mainland to help promote growth and development.
The EG LNG National Content team encourages businesses in the mainland to contact them to be added to the EG LNG database, which will be used to select contractors and suppliers for future projects and opportunities.
The article was originally published in ‘Energia Local, Volume 3 / Issue 9 / December, 2009
National Content Coordinator: Pancracio Micha Mba