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Albuquerque and Clovis Donate Emergency Vehicles to Sister Cities in Africa

January 25, 2017

Albuquerque, NM- Today, Mayor Richard Berry announced that the City of Albuquerque is donating a retired Fire Truck (pumper) and firefighting equipment to Lusaka, Zambia.  In 2014, Lusaka became Albuquerque’s 10th Sister City and first on the African continent.  With only two fire stations covering an area with a population of over two million people, the much-needed donation will be immediately put to use saving lives.  

“I am so proud of our Sister Cities program and all of the volunteers who open up their homes and hearts to nurture such strong relationships with our friends in Lusaka, as well as our other nine Sister Cities,” said Mayor Berry. “It is because of the hard work and generosity of the people of Albuquerque that I have the honor to take this retired equipment that has saved countless lives in our city, and give it a new home so that it may continue saving lives in Lusaka.”
 
The Albuquerque Fire Department donates its vehicles once they have been rotated out of the fleet as part of the apparatus replacement cycle.  The City has donated several other trucks to departments in New Mexico, Louisiana, and Mexico.  AFD set aside this vehicle for Lusaka as a result of the new Sister City relationship.  In addition to the fire truck, the City of Clovis, New Mexico, is donating a retired ambulance to the city of Kasama, its Zambian Sister City.

“Sister Cities International is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between communities in the United State and those in other countries,” said Clovis Mayor David M. Lansford. “As a part of this program, the City of Clovis twinned with our Sister City Kasama, Zambia, in 2012.  Since that time the City of Clovis has welcomed the City of Kasama to our community, and the people of Clovis are proud to donate one of our retired ambulances to Kasama to assist them with their community’s healthcare needs."

In attendance at the announcement was a delegation from Zambia led by Lusaka Mayor, Wilson Kalumba, and the Inspector General of Zambia Police, Mr. Kakoma Kanganja.  Inspector General Kanganja presented Mayor Berry with a check from the Zambia Ministry of Home Affairs to cover the cost of shipping of the donated vehicles and equipment to Zambia.
 
“In Zambia, we would describe the importance of this donation using the word “Ubuntu,” said Inspector General Kanganja. “Ubuntu represents the belief that it is the universal bond of sharing that connects all of humanity.  Even though we are separated by oceans, today Ubuntu joins our people together.”
 
In addition to the donated vehicles and equipment, both the Albuquerque Police Department and Albuquerque Fire Department will receive Zambian public safety counterparts in the future to “train-the-trainers” by having them participate in routine annual department trainings.   

His Worship Mayor of Lusaka, Wilson Kalumba added “To quote a Zambian proverb, “He who asks will never get lost." Having friends to ask for direction in life is safer than pretending you know everything. With this Sister City relationship, we'll find the right direction and create wonderful connections and opportunities for our people along the way.”

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Albuquerque’s Sister City Program started in 1965. To learn more about the foundation or Albuquerque’s 10 Sister Cities please visit: www.albuquerque-sister-cities.org.