Watch out for Veld Fires this Season

Zimbabwe received normal to above normal rainfall in the 2016/17 season as a result of Tropical Cyclone Dineo. The rains promoted the flourishing of grassthat translates to high fuel load with a high probability of veld fire outbreaks during the dry period.

A fire risk prediction for 2017 indicates that the greater part of the country is at a high risk of veld fire prevalence. Communities should therefore be prepared for fierce and violent veld fire incidences.

That being the case, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is calling upon all land owners, occupiers and users, to put in place fire pre-suppression measures in the form of standard nine (9) metre wide fire guards on either side of a boundary and internal ones of at least 4.5m in breadth.

EMA is working with communities, encouraging them toundertake projects which reduce fuel load such as hay baling and thatch/broom grass harvesting. Furthermore, every farm, village or ward should establish firefighting teams and get in touch with EMA for training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hay bailing reduces fuel load and at the same time ensures the availability of stock feed during the dry season.

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FIREGUARD CONSTRUCTION; FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

As we approach yet another dry season, let us be proactive and protect our properties from the possibility of veld fires. One way of achieving this is through contructing fireguards right right round your properties.

What is a fireguard?

Itis a belt of not less than 9 metres that is cleared of all inflammable materials in order to control the spread ofveld fires.Fireguards are essential for protecting and safeguarding veldts, property and lives of various living organisms including human beings. However, many land users or property owners do not prioritize the construction of fireguards.It is a strict statutory requirement that any land user or property owner should put in place fire prevention mechanisms and one of them is the construction of standard fireguards.

When are they constructed?

Fireguards should be constructed before the end of the month of June every year. The use of tractors, ox-drawn ploughs and hoes is highly recommended so as to get rid of all flammable material. If fire is to be used as a tool in fireguard construction, the burning should be done when the weather conditions are conducive as advised by the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) for controlled burning.

 Where are they constructed?

Fireguards should be constructed around farms, paddocks, woodlots, orchards, nurseries croplands and boundary fences. Construction of fireguards should be on the calendar of all land users and property owners each and every year to comply with legal provisions. 

What is a standard fireguard?

A standard fireguard is one which measures at least 9metres wide on either side of a boundary line/fence. It then follows that between two properties, the fireguard becomes at least 18metres wide. Internal fireguards of at least 4, 5 metres should be constructed in addition to the existing pathways and roads to ensure extra- protection of properties and other valuables. The width of the fireguards should be increased if the area is surrounded by tall grass.

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About EMA

The Environmental Management Agency is a statutory body responsible for ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment, the prevention of pollution and environmental degradation, the preparation of Environmental Plans for the management and protection of the environment. It was established under the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27] and operationalised on the 17th of March 2003 through SI 103 of 2003.

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Vision, Mission & Values

  • VISION +

    A clean, safe and healthy environment, promoting a growing economy and empowered society.
  • MISSION STATEMENT +

    To regulate, monitor and promote sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment with stakeholder participation.
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    •¬†Transparency¬†• Professionalism¬†• Timeous response • Stakeholder Participation • Unhu / Ubuntu •Team work •
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School's Debate Topic

EMA 2017 SCHOOLS DEBATE TOPIC

 

ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ARE BEING GIVEN LESS RECOGNITION IN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES THAN OTHER RIGHTS IN ZIMBABWE.