WINDHOEK – Desert Fruit Namibia (DFN) has converted a water truck into a vehicle with fire-fighting capabilities. The truck, which has off-road capabilities, has been fitted with two fire hose reels which work off hydraulic pumps and can carry 18,000 litres of water at a time.
Seth Holmes, managing director of DFN, said: “Initially the truck was supposed to have been used at our farm in the event of trees, houses or buildings catching fire, but we became aware that since 2015 the local community has unfortunately experienced a number of fires which have completely destroyed houses and even caused some injuries. This is not acceptable and as a small remote farming community we need to support each other, assist government where we can and work together to ensure that we all live well.”
Jamica ‘Jakes’ Awaseb, who runs the workshop at DFN, expressed his delight with this great innovative project by the company. “I am very happy with this project as it took innovation to develop a truck which will assist the farm and community. The project was an ideal opportunity to showcase great workmanship and involved local skills that assisted with the execution of the conversion. Further, the workshop apprentices learned a great deal from this project.”
The capabilities of the fire truck were demonstrated to Karasburg East Constituency Councillor Dennis Coetzee, community leaders and municipal managers of Ariamsvlei.
“It is indeed a good initiative taken by the management of DFN to come up with such a truck, built and equipped by themselves. This truck will ease the task of extinguishing fires on the Komsberg and Desert Fruit farms. The gesture of even availing the truck when a fire occurs in the Ariamsvlei settlement about 60 km from there and surrounding farms is also much appreciated. Thank you very much and keep it up Mr Holmes and your team,” said Coetzee.
Desert Fruit was established in 2005. The first date palms were planted in 2006 and the farm is one of only a handful of date producers in the Southern Hemisphere.
Desert Fruit has 22,000 date palms of varying ages under cultivation. In full production the five varieties of date palms will produce over 3,000 tons of export quality date fruit.
Desert Fruit is the only farm to actively farm and market speciality variants including Zamli, Khallas and Barhi in the Southern Hemisphere. The company proudly employs up to 450 staff made up of permanent and seasonal workers during peak season.