Veld fire deaths drop 12 per­cent

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Whins­ley Masara

THE En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Agency (EMA) has ap­plauded mem­bers of the pub­lic fol­low­ing a re­duc­tion of deaths due to veld fires from 16 last year to six this year.

En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion and Pub­lic­ity Man­ager for EMA Mr Steady Kan­gata said dur­ing the fire sea­son, from July 31 to Oc­to­ber 31, a de­crease of 12 per­cent had been recorded in fire-re­lated in­ci­dents.

He said although the fire sea­son has come to an end, EMA will con­tinue to be on high alert un­til the coun­try re­ceives sub­stan­tial rains.

Mr Kan­gata said only 1 652 fire in­ci­dences had been recorded this fire sea­son as com­pared to 1 881 dur­ing the same pe­riod last year.

“This re­sulted in the de­struc­tion of 1 197 335 hectares com­pared to 1 336 746 hectares dur­ing the same pe­riod last year, which trans­lates to a 10, 4 per­cent de­crease as at end Oc­to­ber 2016,” he said.

Mr Kan­gata said only six lives were lost to veld fires this year com­pared to 16 last year.

“How­ever, veld fire in­ci­dences in­creased this last month of Oc­to­ber be­cause of the high tem­per­a­tures ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing that pe­riod. Nonethe­less, the fires were con­fined to road servi­tudes,” he said.

“We at­tribute the re­duc­tion in both the fire in­ci­dences and hectare burnt to the co­op­er­a­tion we got from the var­i­ous stake­hold­ers such as tra­di­tional lead­ers, farm­ers, and gen­eral com­mu­nity mem­bers.” —@win­nie_­masara.

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