Wildfire sweeps through six Buhera villages

FARAI MATEBVU


BUHERA – A fierce wildfire started by two women preparing land for Pfumvudza farming has set a new record for the arid Buhera District after it swept through six villages and destroyed 23 homesteads in two hours.

The fire which broke out on September 21 and inspected by EMA officials on October 20 also destroyed 94 gardens many cattle pens and large tracts of grazing pastures before it died out.

Environmental Management Agency Provincial Manager Kingstones Chitotombe confirmed the story to The Mirror and said the kind of destruction has never been reported in Buhera.

The affected villages are Chigodora, Muchingami, Dhobha, Mudzamiri, Matarutse and Muzarurwi under Chief Makumbe’s area.

The women who started the fire, Marvelous Parakwayi and Mary Murwira of Chigavakava area have since been reported to the Police.
“We have reported the case to Gwebu Police under RRB number 4315887 and the suspects have been charged with starting fires outside residential areas during the fire season.

“The fire lasted for an hour and destroyed large tracts of pastoral land, burnt down houses and wiped out woodlots and nutritional gardens. It’s the first time that an enferno has destroyed so much property in this district,” said Chitotombe.

He urged farmers to observe environmental laws, conserve forests and spur livelihoods by making fireguards.
Buhera District Development Coordinator (DDC) Freeman Mavhiza said there was need for more environmental awareness campaigns.

“Communities lack environmental education and knowledge. We need to up our efforts to save our heritage and avoid loss of life,” said Mavhiza added.

Wild fires in Buhera are mainly caused by hunting, land clearance and honey combing. https://masvingomirror.com

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