Zimbabwe — The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management has roped in Civil Protection Unit teams at provincial and district levels for monitoring and advocacy as part of efforts to control veld fires.
The ministry has also instructed local authorities to ensure environmental committees and sub-committees are strengthened in order to guard against veld fires.
Minister Nhema said: “We still have about a month-and-a-half before we come to the end of the fire season and yet the impact already seems unbearable.
“Local authorities and the CPU have a role to play in monitoring of veld fires. Fires are a disaster hence the need to bring in the unit.
“Since most veld fires stem from human activity, it is only us, Zimbabweans, who can conquer these uncontrolled fires and protect our countrys heritage.”
Minister Nhema was giving a joint fire update with the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Dr Ignatius Chombo.
The CPU falls under the Local Government Ministry.
Minister Nhema said they would establish fire fighting teams in all wards.
“I urge traditional leaders to play their role and bring those who are involved in fire offences to book.
“Traditional leaders are urged to use their powers as enshrined in the Traditional Leaders Act to ensure environmental integrity in their areas of jurisdiction.
“Zimbabwe is well endowed with vast heritage of environmental assets that offer a number of ecological goods and services to its citizenry.
“These natural resources need to be jealously guarded and one way of doing this is by ensuring that we do not start veld fires.”
Minister Chombo blamed negligence by some farmers for the increase in uncontrolled fires.