Containers journey from Lancashire to Africa – Bulawayo Zimbabwe

Containers journey from Lancashire to Africa – Bulawayo Zimbabwe


Dates: 01/02/2021 - 01/08/2021

Location: Bulawayo - City of Kings, Zimbabwe


project leader

Tony Burscough - Project Manager Shephard Nudlovu - Project Advisor

Team members

The vital UK loading Team
Mick Doherty – Chair of Operation Florian – Lancashire FRS rtd
Steve Snape – Lancashire FRS rtd
Wendy Snape – Administration Volunteer
Reg Tassiker – Lancashire FRS rtd
Gary Higson – Greater Manchester FRS rtd
Bernie Lees – Greater Manchester FRS rtd
Mark Brisco – Lancashire FRS rtd


The project

Operation Florian has been working with Fire and Ambulance Brigades throughout Zimbabwe for a number of years. This particular project was to load a 20ft container in the UK and transport/ship to Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Brigade.

This venture took took over six months to its final destination. The containers trek started in Chorley Lancashire. From there it was driven by road to London Gateway Port for loading onto a container ship. Due to the on going effects of the pandemic and the backlog created it was loaded onto a ship on 04/03/21. From there it sailed to the port of Beira – Mozambique. On arrival there was severe backlog of containers due to covid and recent floods in South Africa. This delayed its release for a number of weeks.

On its release from Beira it was transported by rail to the “rail head” at Bulawayo in late July. From there it had to clear customs before it could be handed over to Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Brigade. Due to the efficient administration at Bulawayo this was achieved in a matter of days.

The equipment and PPE is now being distributed to their stations and personnel. This vital donation is enabling the Bulawayo emergency services to provide better and safer cover for their communities and their personnel to work in a safer environment due to the City of Bulawayo’s Council in sponsoring and coordinating this donation.

Containers of equipment have also been sent to the Capital City of Zimbabwe – Harare. These donations were sponsored by the City Council of Harare.

What must be remembered is ex service equipment, PPE and vehicles have vital life still remaining in them. The gift of these donations helps others. Just as important in today’s world is that donating reduces a FRS “carbon foot print”.

Special thanks

Operation Florian are extremely grateful to all supporters of this project. Without your assistance these projects would not be possible. You have helped to save lives and improve community safety:

To all UK FRS’s who donate vital equipment and vehicles to Operation Florian. Without their support the charity could not carry out this vital work.

A special thanks to Lancashire FRS who provide a storage facility for the charity and regularly donate ex service equipment, PPE and vehicles. Greater Manchester FRS who provided vital ex vehicle spares stock for this project, this enables these brigades to keep their appliances on the run. Cheshire FRS for the donation of PPV, branches and PPE, Cumbria FRS who provided PPE and equipment.

A very big thank you to Operation Florian members and volunteers who helped collect equipment and PPE from FRS’s throughout the UK and helped load this container. Without them giving their time, effort and energy we could not help our fellow emergency service workers throughout the world.

A special thank you to Martin Brien from GMC FRS Engineering Dept who coordinated vital equipment for donation and gives his charity advice and guidance on vehicle matters.