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Provincial Newspapers Telegraph

Communities urged to safeguard environment


By Fortunate Gunde

MAKONDE – THE Forestry Commission is amplifying measures to prevent veld fires, by undertaking pre-fire extension suppression preventive measures, such as fireguard construction, biomass reduction and early controlled burning at the launch marking commencement of the National Fire Week (NFW).

Every year, the second week of May is set aside for education and awareness raising on the dangers associated with veld fires and the strategies for prevention.

Wisdom Nduku, the Makonde District, Forestry Extension Officer, leading the charge and encouraging farmers to implement preventive measures, said that the recent poor rainfall season had left the landscape parched and vulnerable, heightening the probability of fire incidents.

“In response, farmers and property holders are being urged to initiate the construction of fireguards without delay, these vital fire breaks serve as a crucial defence mechanism, offering protection to property, livestock and invaluable trees from the rentless advance of uncontrolled blazes,” said Nduku.

The Forestry Extension Official highlighted the importance of reducing fuel load through meticulous winter ploughing and heightened awareness of fire risks.

“Furthermore, the proactive mapping out of high -risk areas and the demarcation of fields for efficient firefighting operations are being emphasised, through meticulous planning and community engagement. Makonde District aims to bolster its resilience against the incendiary threat, minimising the potential for catastrophic loss.

“In addition to individual efforts, the activation to individual efforts, the activation of community-based fire brigades play a pivotal role in bolstering the region’s firefighting capabilities, by fostering a culture of collective responsibility and preparedness, communities can mount a swift and co-ordinated response to emergent fire incidents, mitigating their impact and safeguarding lives and livelihoods,” explained Nduku.

“As the NFW unfolds, the imperative for collective action resonates louder than ever. Let us heed the call to vigilance and solidarity, rallying together to fortify the defences against the looming fire peril; in unity lies our strength and in proactive measures, our resilience.”

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