Another 143 000 hectares destroyed by fire
Veld fires remain a big challenge, with reports of new fires being received almost daily.
06 October 2021 | Disasters
In the past two weeks Namibia recorded 27 veld fires, burning 59 farms and destroying 143 000 hectares of land.
That is on top of the 2.5 million hectares of grazing destroyed by veld fires since the start of Namibia’s fire season in May this year. This brings the total to more than 2.64 million hectares.
Environment ministry spokesman Romeo Muyanda said 135 head of livestock and 75 wild animals were reported killed in these fires. Fences and waterpipes were also destroyed.
Muyanda said fires were recorded in the districts of Outjo, Otjiwarongo, Steinhausen, Windhoek, Okahandja, Tsumeb and Tsintsabis, and in the Zambezi Region.
He said the fire that was raging in the Steinhausen area of the Omaheke Region over the weekend was eventually contained after four days, after causing massive destruction to property.
Muyunda says fires remain a big challenge in the country, with reports being received almost daily.
According to him most of the fires are believed to have been caused by arsonists or negligent charcoal burners, said Muyunda.
He said the ministry was busy with a comprehensive assessment of damage caused by the fires.
“The ministry continues to monitor the outbreaks of forest and veld fires nationwide based on remote sensing and aerial surveillance techniques.”
Muyunda said the main causes of these fires are charcoal production, mechanical implements such as road graders, recreational activities such as picnics, smoking and hunting, thatch grass harvesting and destructive methods of collecting wild honey.
He called on the public to report any fires to the ministry as soon as possible.
He further thanked all volunteers who help to extinguish fires when required.