The country has recorded a 9.4 percent increase in veld fires, and four deaths this year after more than 1 million hectares of forests and grasslands have been destroyed by veld fires nationally so far.

Zimbabwe is at the peak of the veld fire season and the figures coming from various provinces point to a failed strategy in veld fire prevention and management.

To date, a total of 1 096 358 hectares of have been ravaged by veld fires, a figure which represent 9.4 percent increase, compared to the same period last year.

Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Education and Publicity Manager, Mr Steady Kangata said the country has so far recorded 2011 fire incidences and 2 percent of the country has been destroyed by veld fires.

“The veld fire incidences have been worsened by the high fuel load in the environment as well as high temperatures, and to date four people have fallen victim of these veld fires,” noted Mr Kangata.

While community fire management programmes are said to have been well supported in various provinces, with a stretch of 10 000km now constructed into fire guards and 475 000 hail bales harvested, the fire statistics however continue to cause major concerns.