Media encouraged to amplify fight against veld fires


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Writes Elvis Dumba
Chinhoyi – The media has been challenged to contribute towards veld fire prevention, a menace that is threatening to derail development in the communities.
Briefing journalists on the Provincial Fire Awareness Week organized by Environment Management Agency (EMA), Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Hon Marian Chombo said media personnel should join in the fight against veld fire through their works.
“Members of the fourth estate should amplify anti-veld fires messages to as many people as possible to ensure that the public is informed on the dangers of veld fires,” she said.
The country is now in the high fire incident season that starts in May with Mashonaland West Province being one of the country’s provinces that record high incidents of veld fires, leading to the destruction of properties and loss of life.
Minister Chombo said the province wants to strive to reduce the area burnt by veld fires from the 206,927 hectares that were burnt in the year 2023.
“Failure to protect the environment contributes to challenges of food shortages and challenges to animal feed. It also de-accelerates the economic progress of our province, negatively affecting our province’s GDP,” she said.
Mashonaland West Provincial Secretary, Mr Josphat Jaji, said there should be a visible difference in cases of veld fire in the province.
“We cannot continue to be known for being the worst province when it comes to veld fires as we have been on top of veld fire incidences. This year, we should be different and ensure we prevent fires,” he said.
Institutions like telephone and electricity distribution companies, and road management agencies were also urged to ensure that their servitudes are protected from the veld fires to protect essential infrastructure.
Environment Management Agency Provincial Manager, Rambwai Mapako, said due to the prolonged dry season resulting from the drought, the province anticipates high chances of runaway veld fire in areas such as Zvimba, Chegutu, Makonde, and Hurungwe districts. She called for extra effort to ensure the protection of the environment.