A 64-YEAR-OLD Chikomba woman is battling for life at Chivhu General Hospital after she was recently burnt by a veld fire.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) in Mashonaland East province claimed in its weekly report that Irene Mandizha of ward 8 in Chikomba is currently admitted to hospital after she suffered severe burns.
EMA provincial marketing and publicity manager Astas Mabwe said the province was currently experiencing serious veld fires, with more than 30 000 hectares already burnt.
“As an agency, we are increasing our awareness meetings and trainings in major affected districts that include Chikomba, Seke, Goromonzi and Marondera. These are the top four in the province. EMA urges farmers not to start veld fires and fight fires that will have been started.
“In Chikomba district, Irene Mandizha (64) of ward 8, was burnt by a veld fire and she is in hospital as we speak. The latest information is as on 30 August, about 32 839,76 hectares of land was destroyed by fire. So we encourage farmers to construct fire guards on time. It is an offence to fail to construct a fire guard,” Mabwe said.
The fire season is between July 31 and October 31.
According to EMA, veld fires were being caused by misinformed farmers, who use the fire to control ticks following the January outbreak disease that killed more than 2 000 cattle last rainy season.
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Last year, the province recorded 214 incidences, which resulted in approximately 112729,87 ha of land being burnt.
The burnt area increased by 31,14 % from 2015 when 77 622,13 ha.
In 2017 alone, some 10 huts, one lorry, five tonnes of maize, 19 goats, 32 chickens and some irrigation pipes were destroyed by veld fires.