Veldfires claim 4 lives countrywide

Source: Veldfires claim 4 lives countrywide | Newsday (News)

BY TATENDA CHITAGU

Four people died last year due to veldfires, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has said, while over a million hectares of forests and grasslands went up in smoke.

Speaking during the belated national fire week commemorations yesterday, EMA Masvingo provincial head Milton Muusha said Zimbabwe was at high risk of extreme veldfires this year due to the good rains experienced in the last season that gave rise to increased biomass.

“While nobody from Masvingo died last year from veldfires, it is sad to note that four died countrywide,” Muusha revealed, adding that over the past decade, 100 people succumbed to veldfires.

“This is too big a figure to ignore,” he said.

“No life should be lost to veldfires because one life lost is one too many. Veldfires have surely become more of an enemy than a friend and, as such, fire management is a priority in the National Development Strategy 1 with a thrust towards its
reduction.”

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