veld fire 25-08-10.jpgEnvironmental Management Agency (EMA) has called on communities to come out in full force in the fight against veldt fires, which have resulted in loss of human lives, destruction of thousands of hectares of grazing pastures and property worth thousands of dollars in the previous years.

EMA Provincial Manager for Matebeleland North, Mrs Chipo Mpofu- Zuze said her organisation has already started training fire fighting in communities in its quest to ensure reduction of incidences of veldt fires this year.

She said it is crucial that communities meet the 31 July deadline, in which they should have erected fire guards to reduce further spreading of fire to neighbouring areas, adding that communities must remember that the greater part of Matebeleland North Province is home to wildlife, which attract significant revenue for the country, hence all efforts have to be made to preserve the habitat of the country`s natural resource.

Bubi and Umguza Districts have been identified as the first two districts in the province in which training will be carried out with A1 and A2 farmers, following high incidences of veldt fires in the two districts last year.

While Matebeleland North had the 3rd highest number of incidences of fire in 2009, it had one of the lowest incidences in 2010, but the recent spate of veldt fires along the Bulawayo -Victoria Falls highway have become a cause for concern.