The three villages of Vavatsinia, Ayioi Vavatsinias and Akapnou, all of which were badly affected by the Arakapas fire last summer, on Sunday said that money donated privately to buy them each a small fire truck was misspent, leaving them with no protection.

According to CNA, the community leaders of the three villages said the 250,000 euros was spent on other things and left them without a fire engine.

The Arakapas fire in July 2021 killed four men and destroyed some 55 square kilometres of forest, cultivations, homes and other property. It was the worst in living memory in the history of the Republic and left 10 communities reeling.

The community leaders of the three village said the donation for affected villages to each purchase a small fire truck was made by a private company, and they want the agriculture and interior ministries to investigate where the money went.

“Unfortunately, pettiness and expediency led those who undertook to implement the donation to a decision where instead of supplying all the fire-affected villages with an equipped fire engine, left our own villages out and spend a large part of the donation for other purposes,” a statement from the community leaders said, according to CNA.

“So now some of the villages affected by the fire have up to six fire engines at their disposal, while ours have none and we will not have the means to deal quickly with an uncontrollable fire.”

The protesting communities are calling on the two ministries to “find out who made the decision and if they possibly misled the donor”.