Zimbabwe: Manzou Game Park Loses Property Worth $100 Billion in Inferno

Zimbabwe: Manzou Game Park Loses PropertyWorth $100 Billion in Inferno

25 July 2006

published by http://allafrica.com/

PROPERTY worth more than $100 billion was gutted by a fire which razed down pastures and buildings at Manzou Game Park in Mazowe last Friday.

Police provincial spokesman for Mashonaland Central Inspector Michael Munyikwa said by yesterday it was not clear whether game was also killed in the inferno.

However, he said, the police suspected that poachers who have been a menace in the area, could have started the fire.

“The fire caused extensive damage to pastures, guest lodges, chalets and other property including a diesel generator. The state of wildlife has not been ascertained,” Insp Munyikwa said.

The fire started from the northern part of the park and spread through the wildlife sanctuary pastures causing extensive damage.

This came barely a week after Environment and Tourism Minister Cde Francis Nhema launched the National Fire Protection Strategy in the province.

During the launch, Cde Nhema said his ministry was concerned with the negative economic impact of veld fires.

He said veld fires had affected increased foreign currency earnings.

The minister said the problem had increased rapidly in the past four years but cited 2004/2005 as the worst years in the country’s history.

Cde Nhema said in 2004 about 109 253,51 hectares of land were destroyed in veld fires while 115 049,47 hectares of land suffered similar damages of uncontrolled veld fires.

He said his ministry was concerned with such losses indicating about $1,5 trillion worth of timber was destroyed last year alone.

The minister also recalled the death of seven school pupils in Matabeleland after they were caught in a veld fire.

Chaka Chidyamatiyo in Bindura


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