Namibia– The Ministry Of Agriculture, Water and Forestry with the support from the German Embassy donated Firefighting equipment and tools worth N$150 000.to the youth in training at the Fire Management Unit in the Otjozondjupa region in Tsumkwe. The region has a common occurrence of open veld fires throughout all the 14 regions.
Directorate of Forestry has the sole responsibility of putting out veld fires but their efforts are not enough. Hence supplementary training of fire prevention and management skills to the youth has taken place since 2013, the youth have been trained to use the donated equipment. Education awareness on open veld campaigns are also held annually for the community to help the Ministry curb these fires.
The youth have been trained to respond to veld fires as quickly as possible as the fires spread at a rapid pace. The youth currently in training will be part of the fire fighting unit once they have completed the course, they will also carry the responsibility of educating and training the next batch of the fire fighting unit to come said Mr Theodor Kaambu Community Forestry programme officer.
The cause of these open fires is mostly man made especially the San people in the area who use fire as a hunting method. Fires that are not put out properly by the community or tourists and natural causes like lightning can also be a contributing factor to open veld fires.
Kaambu urged all farmers and veld users to be very cautious whenever using fire and that it should be put out properly with water.
Namibia has had a very dry season and more veld fires will hit the farmers and the livestock the hardest, thus it is the responsibility of all to look out for any suspicion of open veld fires.