Source: Masvingo least affected by veld fire | The Herald May 20, 2019
Runesu Gwidi Masvingo Correspondent
MASHONALAND West is the province that was worst affected by veld fires last year according to a Fire Summary released by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) yesterday.
EMA says it has completed a research on the gravity of veld fires in eight provinces which occurred in the last fire season.
The report states that, Mashonaland West lost a total of 420 511, 20 hectares to raging fires, followed by Matabeleland North (212 547,16 ha), Mashonaland Central (153 305,44 ha), Matabeleland South (135 031,84 ha), Midlands (114 035,04 ha), Mashonaland East (90 686,56 ha), Manicaland (24 516,12 ha) and Masvingo (38 247,66 ha).
The agency’s regional manager for Masvingo province Mr Milton Muusha said they were taking drastic measures to curb the prevalence of veld fires countrywide.
“We are training local authorities and traditional leaders on the dangers of veldt fires and the methods to prevent their outbreaks,” he said.
“Villagers and inhabitants of farms have also formed fire prevention subcommittees.
“These play a pivotal role in the prevention of veld fires. They have been authorised by EMA to report the culprits to chiefs.
“In addition, we have introduced bee-keeping (apicultural practice) among other methods to address this problem”.
Mr Muusha said they were also carrying out awareness meetings and campaigns in communities susceptible to veld fires.
He said veld fires were a threat to the country as they destroyed natural resources, property, human life, vast tracts of plantations, crops and pastures.
He said in 2017, Masvingo lost a total of 17 770,73 hectares and that the figure had risen to 48 147,66 hectares last year.
“Masvingo district, out of the seven districts in the province, was the most affected.
“A total of 15 153,22 hectares were lost to fires during the season under review, followed by Chiredzi (10 505,42 ha), Gutu (7 641,63 ha), Mwenezi (3 632,39 ha), Bikita(1 315 ha) while Zaka and Chivi were not affected at all last season,” he said.