First Lady, Esther Lungu has arrived in Los Angeles USA for programs aimed at cementing the relationship between Lusaka and the City of Los Angeles as twin Cities.
The first Lady is in California under the Umbrella of the Esther Lungu Foundation to launch the beginning of collaboration between the Los Angeles City Fire Department and the Zambia Fire and Rescue Service.
Mrs Lungu said the move to solicit support in fire-fighting mechanisms from the Los Angeles – Lusaka Sister City Committee, a relationship of more than 50 years, has been necessitated by inadequate fire-apparatus in the country.
The first lady said it is disheartening to see women and other vulnerable groups in trading places such as markets lose their livelihood through infernos that have been sweeping trading places in Lusaka and other parts of the country.
Mrs Lungu noted that women and vulnerable groups are at the core of her organization’s existence and that marginalized groups deserve the support of all well-meaning people to sustain their livelihood.
ZANIS reports that while in Los Angeles, the first Lady is expected to receive a donation of four fire-fighting apparatus from the Los Angles – Lusaka Sister City Committee worth $4 million equivalent to K47.6 Million which includes shipping and other requirement to deliver the equipment to Zambia.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Los Angeles – Lusaka Sister City Committee, Ernestine Robertson, said her committee is looking forward to enhanced relations between the two Cities aimed at improving fire-fighting apparatus in Zambia to enhance confidence for both local and foreign investment.
Dr Robertson said the Los-Angeles-Lusaka Sister City Committee, which operates under the office of the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, is also working on escalating support for vulnerable groups in Zambia through Micro finance projects and provision of clean water for another 50 years.
And Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Local government, Amos Malupenga, praised first Lady, Esther Lungu, for her relentless efforts to have the fire apparatus come to Zambia.
Mr Malupenga noted that the institutional linkage of the Zambia Fire services with the Los Angeles fire department, which is the premier fire department in the world, will facilitate the flow of operational and technological knowledge between the two fire institutions.
The Los Angeles – Lusaka Sister City Committee was established in 1967 and reaffirmed in 1979 when the former Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, the late Tom Bradley, met Zambia’s founding father Dr Kenneth Kaunda in Lusaka.
The organization has been supplementing government efforts in uplifting the living standards of vulnerable groups through Microfinance programs and clean water supply projects in Lusaka and selected parts of the country.