|Villagers make fireguards|
|Saturday, 26 May 2012 21:49|
Lulu Brenda Harris
Sunday News Correspondent
Bubi District is carrying out an extensive exercise to urge villagers to make fireguards in the area as part of efforts to contain the scourge of veld fires.Fireguards have increasingly proven to be one of the most effective and reliable solutions to contain the scourge of wild fires that have been destroying the environment, livestock and small animals.
In an interview with Sunday News, Bubi Council chairman, Mr Cecil Mathambo, said veld fires had caused irreparable damage to the environment and affected the ecosystem balance in the district.
He said Bubi council was actively involved in conducting educational campaigns to the villagers and wards were supposed to at least make fireguards covering 600 kilometres within the district.
“The council has sourced for resources such as fuel which will be used in going around the district educating villagers how to make fireguards. We have an officer from Campfire, who will be working with the council in educating the villagers,” he said.
Mr Mathambo said the villagers’response was pleasing as most decided to make use of their 40 percent from the development levy towards that cause.
“This is a pleasing sign, most wards okayed the decision to use funds from the development levy. This indicates villagers’ understand how preserving vegetation and animal life is,” he said.
The council chairman said the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) was also involved in the project and were showing villagers how to plant trees and gulley reclamations because besides veld fires, soil erosion and deforestation were other problems.
“Some areas that are perennially prone to wild fires have had to contend with incessant siltation of rivers nearby as plants and minute creatures that assist in binding the soils together are repeatedly chewed by uncontrolled bonfires leaving the soils exposed to erosion by either wind or rain. EMA has been working especially in Wards 5 and 15 doing gulley reclamation. In Ward 11 EMA and the villagers were planting trees such as the lantana camara,” he said.
Most rural communities have adapted to using fireguards as weapons to prevent damage caused by veld fires.
Recently, veld fires caused by man in Zimbabwe’s mainland have destroyed valuable natural resources such a forests, grasslands and wild animals.