|Chiefs urge deterrent fines on fires|
|Wednesday, 12 September 2012 18:08|
Traditional leaders say the challenge of veld fires demands that government introduces deterrent fines as awareness campaigns have failed to yield the desired results.
Every year the challenge of veld fires continues despite government-led awareness campaigns.
Traditional leaders say while it has been difficult to identify the culprits, the government should put in place a system of deterrent harmonised fines that will help reduce the environmental challenge.
Chief Mafala of Mafala in Zvishavane says veld fires have become a major environmental challenge that requires concerted efforts to curb.
“Government should work towards harmonised penalties that will deter perpetrators of environmental crimes, as cases of loss of property and the destruction of the environment caused by veld fires continue to rise,” said Chief Mafala.
Chief Mapanzure says environmental degradation has weakened the natural resource base on which human activity ultimately depends and veld fires have become a major threat to the environment.
“We have a problem because the veld fires are threatening the natural resource base and this has to be stopped,” Chief Mapanzure said.
Environmentalists say the problem of veld fires requires team work including the adoption of necessary fire preventive measures by communities.
A number of fire outbreaks were recorded last season and one farmer in Mashonaland Central Province lost tonnes of maize, a combine harvester and other farm equipment.
This season five people have died from the veld fires.
In Zimbabwe, almost every fire is started by humans, most of who are aware of the consequences.