An 80 year old man from Gokwe was burnt to death after he unintentionally started a veld fire while burning chaff in his field on the 25th of September.
Michael Mazambuko of Marandu Village in Gokwe North apparently failed to control the fire, which burnt down about 5 hectares of grazing land. Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Midlands Provincial Spokesman Mr Simon Musasiwa confirmed the death. He said that the responsible person, died from suffocation after he tried to put the fire out.
Early last month, another 80 year old man from Mashonaland West also died while burning maize crop residue in preparation for a planting season and this was confirmed by EMA Communications Officer Joyce Chapungu.
The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has strongly warned communities in fire prone areas to be on high alert during the fire season which runs between July and October each year.
In a statement, EMA Communications Officer Joyce Chapungu, said the Environmental Management Agency has been monitoring veld fires since the 1st of July 2018, to date.
“During the period between the 31st of October each year ,the likelihood of runaway fires is very high due to conducive environment which includes availability of dry flammable material , wind and heat,” said Chapungu.
She also added that,
“During the 1st two weeks of August, there was an increase in the number of veld fire incidences recorded as well as the hectares of land destroyed.
“Through collaborative efforts by all stakeholders we have gun to witness a decline in both hectarage loss and fire incidences when compared with the same period in 2017.”
“Mashonaland West has been the worst affected Province so far, with over 200 000 hectares of land being burnt, followed by Matabeleland South and Midlands Provinces.”
Meanwhile since the 31st of July 2018, a total fire incidences destroying 456 602.99 have been recorded.