Swaziland — The Lushikishini community was shocked and saddened when the Masilela family lost four children in a gruesome domestic fire accident that happened at night on August 3, 2014.
The deceased childrens ages who died were between one and four years. Media reports indicated that the children were sleeping in a house alone, after their parents or guardians have rushed to join other members of the community to extinguish wild fire in the area. It is with great shock and sadness that Your Friend passes sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Masilela family for the loss of the four beloved children who died last week.
The Masilela family also lost valuable household property in the main house during the fire accident. One prays for a quick recovery of those children that escaped with burns from the burning house.
It is difficult to imagine the terror, suffering and agony the four children suffered when they were cremated alive in a fire they had no capacity to escape from or put out. What is frustrating about this accident is that it could have not happened if there was no veld fire at Lushikishini that night and they believe the children will be alive today if someone did not start that fire. Your Friend prays that the Almighty God will comfort the parents of the deceased children and their relatives during this sad time of their life.
Your Friend would like to appeal to all relevant structures in the land to investigate courses of veld fires. People who start veld fires must be arrested and charged with arson. As a country we must not show any mercy to people who start fires that destroy homes and pastures in this country. Enough is enough, arsonists must be held accountable for their deeds.
Damage caused by wild fires increasing in Swaziland
The number of veld fires recorded in July is amazing. The evidence is visible when one drives on our roads in the country. Parches of burnt land are visible all over the country. Many houses in the rural areas have been burned down with everything inside leaving households impoverished and without food. Large areas of pastures have been destroyed in many places leaving livestock and wild life with nothing to eat. The commercial forestry industry in Swaziland is working hard to put out fires and protecting their investments from being gutted down by fire. Cattle owners in the country are also experiencing great losses when pastures are burnt down something which leaves livestock with nothing to feed hence losing weight.
A number of cattle will eventually starve to death. The damage done by wild fires to the environmental, economy and social lives of citizens cannot be accurately established but many people believe it is in excess of millions of Emalangeni.
Closing of Schools this week
Statistics has reflected that many wild fires and domestic fire accidents in the country happen in August and September, when the schools are closed for the Spring holidays. Other than fires caused by people looking for honey, people believe that parental negligence and failure to practice fire safety at home are the main courses of wild and domestic fire accidents at this time. People must be discouraged from using fire when harvesting wild honey.
As the schools close this week the number of fire accidents is expected to double and more homes and pastures are at risk. Your Friend would like to appeal to all parents and all associations and cooperatives operating in all constituency centres to educate all community members (including children) about fire safety, prevention of domestic fire accidents and wild fires. Motorists and all cigarette smokers are urged to use ash trays when smocking and they should put out cigarette stumps after smocking. Let us all be advocates of domestic fire prevention and we should prevent all domestic and wild fire accidents.
Households in the rural and urban are urged to buy commercial fire extinguishers for putting out domestic fires in their homes. The fire extinguishers must be serviced yearly and all family members must be taught how to use them. These fire extinguishers might save your house and the lives of your loved ones one day. Since one cannot afford to gamble with our beloved family members lives, let us all get moving and prevent fire accidents before they destroy our homes and kill us all.