Environment

EMA Latest Update on 2019 Fire Season

 

Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Press Release on 2019 fire season in the country.

The following is a detailed press release on the updates:

Zimbabwe Records A 10.99% Decrease In Hectares Burnt. The Fire season in Zimbabwe stretches from 31 July to 31 October of each year.

Since the beginning of the fire season on the 31st of July 2019, a total of 907 fire incidences destroying 572 795.33 ha have been recorded.

This translates to 10.99% decrease in area burnt and 27.38 % decrease in fire incidents; compared to the same period in 2018 when 1 249 fire incidences were recorded during the same period burning 643 482.01 ha of land.

The decrease is attributed to awareness efforts by the regulatory authorities to stakeholders to prevent veld fires as well as the positive change in community perception on fire management. Unfortunately 2 adult deaths due to veld fires have been recorded so far this fire season.

By the end of the 2018 Fire season, a total of 1 190 174.89 hectares of land had been burnt following 1 595 veld fires recorded compared to 1 268 534.31 hectares burnt from 2 705 fire incidences in the 2017 fire season. There was a 41.04% reduction in the number of fires incidences and a 6.2% reduction in hectares burnt in 2018. 5 deaths were recorded due to fires in 2018.

Therefore, with a month left into the 2019 fire season it’s yet to be seen whether as a country we will achieve the target of over 10% reduction in area burnt from the 2018 statistics.

The Agency want to continue urging the citizens of the country to, Prevent veld fire incidents by not lighting any fires outside either their individual homesteads or business premises during the fire season as provided for by the law.

Put out any fires before they burn large tracts of land and destroy properties; and even lead to loss of lives; and for, Community/farm fire management structures to remain vigilant for the remaining part of the fire season.

Landowners have are mandated to protect their properties from veld fires during the fire season.

Traditional leaders to use their traditional courts to prosecute those who start fires in their communities.

Tendai Guvamombe