Fighting fires together
Summer is peak fire season in south Lebanon. Just a few months ago, on 8 July 2022, a large fire erupted in a carpet factory in the southern town of Zefta. It was a devastating fire, resulting in the destruction of most goods and machinery in the factory. The Lebanese Armed Forces and Civil Defense were on the scene, aided by UNIFIL firefighting peacekeepers to help contain the flames.
UNIFIL has, in fact, helped the local authorities to fight fires in the south, this year and the preceding ones. As UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti stated: “…we have limited capabilities, whatever we can do, we have been doing it, and we will continue to assist the local population to extinguish fires in the south of Lebanon.”
Given that UNIFIL’s main mission is to maintain peace and stability along the Blue Line and throughout its area of operations, it raises the question of what UNIFIL’s capabilities are when it comes to firefighting.
When can UNIFIL assist and when not?
Are there helicopters to fight the fires? And if so, when and how can they be used?
Who must request our assistance and who must approve it?
In this radio episode we explore how UNIFIL has been helping the local communities in fighting fires despite its limited capabilities.
8 min listen