Wildfires kill over 34 in Algeria as regime drags feet on buying waterbombers

Wildfires kill over 34 in Algeria as regime drags feet on buying waterbombers

The deadly wildfires in Algeria left 34 people dead in a new episode of regime failure to prepare ahead by procuring enough firefighting aircrafts.

The interior ministry said more than 1500 people were evacuated from their homes in the affected coastal areas as the flames reached urban centers in Bejaia and the Kabylie region.

While wildfires are common in the Mediterranean during the summer, Algeria remains the only country where fires kill scores largely due to the incompetence of the regime there in procuring necessary equipment notably air fire extinguishers.

In 2021, wildfires killed more than 200 in the restive Kabylie region and the regime ordered 6 Beriev waterbombers from Russia the same year in a $220 million deal but has so far received one.

The delay in Russian deliveries was foreseeable in light of Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine which should have alerted Tebboune/CHengriha’s regime to seek such critical aircrafts elsewhere.

Algeria has leased smaller aircrafts from Chile with a limited capacity of 3000 liters that proved of little efficiency in controlling large blazes.

Algeria has in 2021 also refused aid from its neighbor Morocco which offered sending two of its 8 Canadair firefighting aircrafts to help the country control flames.

Meanwhile, Algeria annulled a contract with Spain allowing it to borrow water bombers during the summer against the backdrop of Madrid’s support for Morocco on the Sahara issue.

Instead of investing in the safety of its citizens against wildfires, Algeria prefers to dilapidate its oil and gas money on fantasies such as joining the BRICS, with $1.5 billion offered to the grouping’s NDB bank.

The Kabyle independence movement MAK had often accused the regime of deliberately targeting the region with wildfires.

Share This