Namibia — The Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) is concerned about the increasing number of outbreaks of veld fires across the country.
We again would like farmers to attend to the prevention of veld fires which is, especially at this time of the year, of utmost importance. Any thing, from burning cigarette stubs to the use of power tools (especially angle grinders and welding machines in the veld) can cause fires, the union warned.
During the past few weeks, veld fires have caused havoc in Namibia, where thousands of hectares of grazing land and animals were destroyed.
In the Blumfelde vicinity at least 2 300 sheep and 28 cattle died because of veld fires during the past week. More than 9 000 hectares of grazing land and 547 small livestock, including goats and sheep, were killed in the Dâures Constituency of the Erongo Region, two weeks ago.
Another devastating fire was also experienced in the Etosha National Park were wild animals such as elephants were also killed.
According to the NAU, numerous fires in the north started because of charcoal burners who did not take the necessary precautions.
The union requests charcoal producers to train their charcoal burners properly, as well as to take out insurance against fires caused by charcoal production.
The NAU revealed that the absence of regulations for the control, management and compensation due to veld fires, would be discussed at its congress this year.
This will be used for guidelines to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry for the drafting of regulations in this regard.
The agricultural family has under the Dare to Care Fund made funds available for people who have medical or funeral costs due to veld fires.