Zimbabwe: veld fire claims 3

Zimbabwe: veld fire claims 3

26 September 2016

published by http://allafrica.com

Zimbabwe —  Chinhoyi — Three members of the same family were killed, while several others sustained serious burns last week after they were trapped by a raging veld fire they were trying to put out in the Chitomborwizi area of Makonde District.

At least three huts, household property and over 100 hectares of land were destroyed in the fire that is suspected to have been started by an elderly woman who wanted to clear farming land.

Tragedy struck last Friday afternoon when villagers in the Matoranjera area of the Chitomborwizi old resettlement scheme, teamed up to put out a veld fire.

The fire had started at the nearby Chiota Farm before spreading to at least three other farms.

One of the victims, Germinate Sotera (35), was entangled in grass knots while trying to escape the raging veld fire after it became apparent that they were losing the battle to put it out.

She was engulfed by the fire and died on the spot. Her husband, Mr Peter Kore (39,) heard her crying out for help after managing to outpace her and returned to help. He was, however, also caught up in the inferno and sustained serious burns before another villager managed to pull him out.

His wife was already dead.

Within a distance of about 30m, another woman Edith Gwite (39), who is a niece to the couple, was also engulfed by the fire while trying to escape.

She had fallen several times while trying to escape and tried to retrieve her plastic bucket.

Sotera’s charred remains and the injured duo were taken to Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital where they were transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

However, Kore died along the way while Gwite died on Saturday morning.

When The Herald visited the Kore homestead, relatives had gathered and were wondering what had befallen them.

Proud, who is brother to the late Peter, said the fire had started at a neighbouring farm and villagers teamed up to put it out.

Environmental Management Agency Mashonaland West provincial spokesperson Mr Munyaradzi Nhariswa said the province had managed to reduce incidents and areas burnt by veld fires.

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