Veld fires claim seven lives

Resettled farmers have been blamed as the major culprits in causing uncontrolled veld fires, which have claimed seven lives in the last year.

Addressing a provincial chiefs’ fire indaba recently, environmental management services director Debra Magwada said veld fires had become a national concern because of their impact on food security.

Magwada said: “New farmers are the major culprits and we need to intensify our education awareness programmes in those areas.”

She added that, in communal areas, there was still discipline in terms of environmental management. Property worth over $500,000 went up in smoke and nearly 1.2m hectares of forest was burnt.

She said Mashonaland West, East and Central were the most affected provinces.

Timber Producers’ Federation chief executive officer Johnson Mhungu said the fires contributed to job losses in the timber industry, and timber producers needed to work with traditional leaders to curb veld fires.

Post published in: News

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