Empower communities to fight wild fires – Chief

Empower communities to fight wild fires – Chief

16 June 2009

published by www.observer.org.sz

Swaziland —

Dingizwe Royal Kraal Chief Mtsetfwa Dlamini says the wild fires destroyed homesteads, killed people and worsened the high unemployment rate in his and other communities.
Chief Mtsetfwa said government, in collaboration with companies such as Sappi Usutu, should furnish chiefdoms with fire extinguishers to be used by the community in putting out the fire.
“Most of the times community members do not put out the fire because they lack the necessary tools,” said the Chief during a fire disaster prevention meeting at Mhlambanyatsi.
He challenged the management of Sappi Usuthu and Government to ensure that the meeting yields good results.
He said if chiefdoms who are close to the company could be sensitised on the dangers of starting fire, much could be achieved.
“Royal Kraals such as those within constituencies that are Mhlambanyatsi, Motshane, LaMgabhi, Mangcongco and Ngwempisi could contribute a lot in preventing fires,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said wild fires had not only caused land degradation but had weakened the economy of the country, as a lot of people were without jobs due to these fires.
He said companies lost a lot due to the fires and they could no longer perform well in business.
Masuku further said the veld fires also destroyed important natural herbs used by Swazis to make traditional medicine.
He also raised concern over the growing lack of respect among Swazis, which resulted in the burning of the Mdzimba Mountain.
“Who on this land would ever think Mdzimba Mountain could be set on fire,” wondered Masuku.

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