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Wild fire deaths double


ENVIRONMENT and Tourism minister Mangaliso Ndlovu yesterday said eight people died last year due to veld fires, doubling the previous yearโ€™s figure of four deaths.

Speaking during the launch of the fire week in Harare yesterday, Ndlovu said in 2021 a total of 3 948 fire incidents were recorded during the dry season, which destroyed 1 033 722 hectares of forests and grasslands compared to 1 178 fire incidents recorded in 2020, destroying 1 100 000 hectares.

Environment and Tourism minister Mangaliso Ndlovu (4th from left) at the launch of the fire week in Harare

โ€œVeld fires are an environmental challenge and annually, an average of a million hectares of forest and grass is lost as a result. We need to make veld fires a national disaster considering their destructive nature,โ€ Ndlovu said.

โ€œWe need to create a self-sufficient and food surplus economy premised on the fact that a protected environment creates an enabling environment for thriving crop and livestock production sectors.โ€

This yearโ€™s fire week theme is Veld Fires, a Food Security Threat, Protect the Harvest.

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