Stop veld fires – Nhema

Stop veld fires – Nhema

19 May 2011

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Zimbabwe — The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management has called for all Zimbabweans to work towards reducing veld fires this season considering that uncontrolled fires have continued to be menace a to the environment, life and property.

The nation commemorates the National Fire Week this Wednesday in Muzarabani against a background of continued loss of vegetation and other valuables witnessed during 2010 fire season.

The past season saw 9 361 fire incidences being recorded killing 21 people and 20 elephants.

Addressing journalists, Environment and Natural Resources Management Minister, Cde Francis Nhema said the devastating effects of veld fires cannot be tolerated further, hence the call this year for uncontrolled fires to be brought to an immediate stop.

“As noted above a total of 9361 fire incidences were experienced countrywide as at 31 October 2010.

“This figure shows marked increase from the 2009 figure of 7 409 fire incidences. Also a total hectarage loss was higher than that of 2009 at 1 152 413. 1 hectare while that for 2009 was 950 905 hectares of land. The trend clearly demonstrates not much was done to control and put off fires which occurred,” Cde Nhema.

This year the country will commemorate the National Fire Launch in Mashonaland Central’s Muzarabani District.

Cde Nhema said the province was chosen because it recorded seven deaths as a result of veld fires, the highest in the country.

Minister Nhema said: “Together we have the potential to make a difference and let us start to act now. Never leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

“Environment protection requires collaborative effort, so let us share environmental information and assist each other to become responsible citizens.”

Current trends have shown that there is a marked increase in fire incidences and that the country is losing valuables including plantations in Manicaland, citrus orchards and ZESA cables.

Last year, over 20 elephants were killed by fire in Shangani while Matopos national museums and motel were gutted down by these fires.

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