“Highly relevant and fully justified” states the recent preliminary evaluation on the firefighting project, which is implemented with concessional credit.
The supply contract was signed in June 2009 between the Ministry for Public Security of Vietnam and a Finnish company. Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland approved the project and the interest subsidy is paid out of the Finnish development cooperation budget.
Project aims to improve firefighting and rescue capacity in Vietnam by replacing outdated equipment and vehicles with modern ones and by providing training on their proper use.
Vietnam is undergoing a rapid urbanization and the need for firefighting and rescue equipment is enormous. The use of new equipment was demonstrated in the delivery ceremony.
During the first phase of the project, a total of 28 firefighting vehicles and other equipment have successfully been delivered to Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Fire Prevention and Protection in 2010. The equipment has been directed to fire departments in fast-growing and densely populated cities and tourist areas as well as industrial areas within 17 provinces.
Preliminary evaluation: Project owner and end-users satisfied
According to a preliminary evaluation review conducted by Niras consultancy, the project owner and end-users of the vehicles and equipment are satisfied with their quality and characteristics. They are also content with training organized as part of the project: quality has been good and well-suited to local needs.
The preliminary evaluation recommends that the project should proceed to its second phase, because there is a continuous need for more and up-to-date firefighting vehicles and equipment in Vietnam. The country is undergoing rapid urbanization and risk of fires has risen as a consequence.
Up-to-date equipment has increased the credibility of the fire departments
The need for equipment in the firefighting sector in Vietnam is enormous: despite the demonstrated efficiency of the project, “it is like a drop of water in the ocean”, says the report. “It is very relevant and has a positive impact, especially at the local level, but cannot alone achieve major changes in the whole sector”, the report notes.
Up-to-date equipment and training have increased the credibility of the fire departments and also the sense of safety among the local people. Furthermore they have sparked a growing interest in fire prevention.
The present stock of fire-engines in Vietnam is 805, of which a third is in bad condition. The country would need 800 more fire-engines or specialized vehicles by 2015.
Attention to firemen’s safety
Special attention should be paid to the health and safety of the firemen during the next phase of the project, states the evaluation report. It recommends that larger quantities of protective clothing and breathing equipment should be supplied in the future.
Report also recommends that some improvements related to climatic conditions and compatibility with other suppliers’ products be taken into account in the second phase of the project.
The preliminary review found that the concessional credit project was consistent with the overall Finnish development policy goals as well as being in line with Vietnam’s development strategy. A National Master Plan for the Firefighting Sector and a Master Plan for Search and Rescue have been identified as national priorities and incorporated into the overall development plan of Vietnam for the year 2011.
Vietnam is nowadays considered as a lower middle income country and it is one of the long-term partner countries of Finland. Vietnam is also a major beneficiary of the Finnish concessional credit scheme. There are currently nine completed concessional credit projects and 13 ongoing ones in Vietnam.