Mauritania loses $27M a year to wild fires

Mauritania loses $27M a year to wild fires

 07 November 2017

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MAURITANIA: The Mauritanian Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Amedi Camara, has said the economic value of the area destroyed annually by wild fires in his country is estimated at about 10 billion ouguiya (US$27 million) in livestock feed equivalent.In a speech at the opening of the 2017-2018 national wild fire protection campaign, he said each year Mauritania registers an average of 166 bush fires that ravage about 47,900 hectares representing 4,790 squares kilometers of grassland.

According to Camara, some 7,000 kilometres of fences will be made as part of this campaign launched from the region of Kaedi on the Senegal River.

Camara added that Mauritania had “acceptable rainfall in some areas” this year, with “heterogeneous spatial distribution” in all agroforestry and pastoral regions.

The evaluations made by the technical services of his ministry reported the production of a large amount of pasture in some areas, which can meet the needs of the national livestock for part of the year.

Mauritanian farmers fear a tough year for their livestock, in the light of the low amounts of rainfall recorded this wet season.

The Mauritanian minister said that the goal of the 2017-2018 campaign is to reduce by 50 percent the number of bush-fires and by 70 percent the damaged areas, compared to the national average.

Meeting such an objective, he added, will make it possible to ensure that pastoralists have the necessary grazing lands in quality and quantity, to avoid transboundary transhumance and reduce the purchase of livestock by the state.

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