By Romeo Takundwa
The Environment Management Agency (EMA) in Mashonaland Central have attributed reduced fire incidents across the province to fire awareness campaigns they are carrying out throughout the province.
To date, Mashonaland Central has recorded 133 fire incidents compared to 156 recorded last year during the same period.
21 157 hectares of land have been burnt by the veld fires this year compared to 24 157 hectares burnt last year during the same period.
Maxwell Mapotsa EMA’s Mashonaland Central’s publicist said they have been penalizing farmers without standard fireguards around their farms ever since the beginning of the fire season in May.
“We have already issued tickets worth more than RTGS$100 000 to farmers that had substandard fireguards.
“This has also helped us to motivate farmers and at the same time prevent the spread of veld fires thereby reducing the affected areas,” he said.
He added that they are also carrying out blitz around the province meeting with farmers and training them on how to extinguish veld fires.
He also attributed their social media, radio and print media campaigns for reducing the fire incidents
The largest areas burnt so far in Mashonaland Central Province include Muzarabani and Mazowe.
Two people have so far been reported dead because of veld fires across the province.
In Mt Darwin South and West, a total of six huts were reduced to ashes with a lot of properties and grains destroyed.