EMA warns Bulawayo residents to decist from starting fires during the veld fire restriction period

Written by on August 18, 2023

Charity Chikara


The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has warned Bulawayo residents and the country at large to stay clear of starting fires through waste dumping, peri-urban field clearing amongst many as the veld fire prone season has started.

Speaking in an interview with Skyz Metro FM reporter Charity Chikara, EMA Spokes Person Amkela Sidange said the fire restriction period enshrined in the Statutory Instrument 7 of 2007 stretches from the 31st of July to the 30th of October 2023.

She highlighted that the first week of the fire restriction period had already claimed over 34 000 hectares of land from 412 veldfire incidences. While an average 354 000 hectares of land had already been lost to veld fires this year.

She added that the public should also stay guided by notices of wind patterns coming from the meteorological department and the EMA real time satelite system updates.

She further urged churches who worship in open spaces, peri-urban farmers and the general public who burn waste to desist from starting fires as they clear land. Citing that starting fires was a punishable offense by law.

Challenges to the environmental management and sustainability posed by veld fires include property damage, reduced soil fertility, destruction of vegetation, air and water pollution as well as destruction of wildlife.


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