VELD fires in Mashonaland East province have razed 174 000 hectares (ha) of land and 11ha of wheat during this fire season.
This was revealed by provincial Agricultural and Rural Development Advisory Services acting director Leonard Munamati who said at least eight hectares of wheat were destroyed by fire in Murehwa district, while three hectares of barley were destroyed in Hwedza district.
“A committee comprising the Environmental Management Agency (Ema), Forestry Commission, Agriculture ministry and Zimbabwe Republic Police has been activated at provincial level to disseminate fire prevention information, prosecute perpetrators, report daily fire incidents and educate people,” Munamati said.
“It is mandatory that farmers construct standard fireguards around their farms, especially those with wheat. Farmers should not delay harvesting their wheat as soon as it becomes due.”
Ema provincial spokesperson Astas Mabwe said a 94-year-old woman was recently burnt to death, while 25 huts and various property were destroyed in Murewa district alone.
A few weeks ago, 10 people were burnt to death by veld fires in Esigodini, Matabeleland South province while putting out a fire.
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Land preparations top the list of causes of veld fires in Zimbabwe, while hunting and natural causes are also contributors.
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