Forest fire management underway

27 July 2020 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Every year, forest fires burn about two million hectares of vegetation in fire-prone regions in Namibia, threatening lives and property as well as degrading the environment.

The environment ministry has therefore commenced with a national fire management programme, with the intention to detect, prevent and supress fires.

This is in anticipation of the fire season, which lasts from July to January every year. Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said under this management strategy, more emphasis is put on education and training local communities in firefighting skills and establishing community-based fire crews. He said training involves fire behaviour and effects, fire prevention, firefighting and management.



Fire management plans

The ministry, through the forest directorate, can also assist individuals, communities and organisations with basic training and the development of fire management plans that will give guidance on how to manage fires on a piece of land, he said.

“We have also started with the internationally-practiced prescribed early burning, which is pre-planned ignition of fire for specific purposes such as fuel reduction, habitat modification, improvement of natural resources and removal of encroacher bushes.” He added that though fire is generally considered as dangerous, pre-planned fire is good as it provides agricultural and conservation benefits. “Currently, the ministry is in a process of servicing and repairing firefighting vehicles and machines. Also, the directorate has conducted needs assessment and is in a process of ordering additional firefighting equipment to reach out to all fire-prone corners of the country.”



Fire breaks

Muyunda said the ministry additionally facilitates the preparation of extensive networks of fire breaks annually, and has started clearing fire breaks in fire-prone regions.

To date, the ministry has cleared 634 kilometres of the expected 3 027km countrywide.

In the Oshana Region, 280km has been cleared, as well as 124km in Oshikoto, 50km in Ohangwena, 100km in Zambezi and 40km in Kavango West and East.

Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Khomas will follow soon.

According to Muyunda, the occurrence of fire is monitored continuously through the ministry's National Remote Sensing Centre via satellite. e, however, added that they still request members of the public to report any fires to the ministry as soon as possible for swift response.



Public cooperation

“Communities and farmers are also called upon to organise themselves in small groups and suppress fires with basic tools while awaiting forestry.”

Muyunda said the ministry is seeking the cooperation of the public to assist with fighting fires where and when required. “The public is called upon to use fire responsibly and to avoid destructive fires that cause damages to people's properties and the environment.” The ministry also advised that the community carry out slash-and-burn or crop field clearing in the late afternoon from 18:00 onwards, and early morning hours until 09:00.

To report a fire, call 061 208 7291 during working hours or 081 1444 878 after hours and on weekends.

Similar News

 

Another 143 000 hectares destroyed by fire

1 month - 06 October 2021 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKIn the past two weeks Namibia recorded 27 veld fires, burning 59 farms and destroying 143 000 hectares of land.That is on top of...

Manager, son arrested as flames devour Walvis business

4 months ago - 20 July 2021 | Disasters

LEANDREA LOUW WALVIS BAY The Walvis Bay branch of MagicDiscounters, a wholesaler and distributor, was destroyed by a fire yesterday morning.It...

Coastal fires destroy 33 shacks, kill man

4 months ago - 19 July 2021 | Disasters

ADOLF KAURE SWAKOPMUND Thirty-six shacks were completely destroyed during two separate fires at the...

Millions for drought control and water management

5 months ago - 14 June 2021 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibia has received more than N$8 million in seed funding for a groundwater management and drought management project in the Omusati and Kunene regions.The...

More funding needed to fight locusts

6 months ago - 27 May 2021 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKMore funding is required to ensure that agricultural livelihoods are safeguarded by ensuring that the outbreak of locusts in Namibia is brought under control...

Epupa constituency still in dire drought situation

6 months ago - 18 May 2021 | Disasters

NAMPAKHORIXASAn assessment of the drought in the Kunene Region has found that the recent rainfall received there has not made a major impact on the...

Food insecurity at five-year high

6 months ago - 18 May 2021 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK This is according to the recently-released 2021 Global Report on Food Crises - recently released by an international alliance of the United Nations...

Kunene area a concern for meteorological services

7 months ago - 27 April 2021 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe Kunene Region is highlighted as an area of high concern by the Namibia Meteorological Services, with the region's strong rainfall deficits and sparse...

Katima inferno forensic probe still unfinished

7 months ago - 08 April 2021 | Disasters

Kenya Kambowe RUNDUA forensic investigation into what might have caused a fire that engulfed a multimillion-dollar shopping complex in Katima Mulilo...

Locusts cause havoc in Kavango

8 months ago - 12 March 2021 | Disasters

KENYA KAMBOWEMASHAREMatheus Kasiki, a farmer at Mashare village in Kavango East, says a swarm of locusts destroyed his entire mahangu field last weekend.Kasiki estimates that...

Latest News

Cricket series ends abruptly

14 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIThe Castle Lite triangular cricket series was scheduled to run from 26 November to 6 December, but the latest Covid-19 variant dubbed Omicron has...

GBO hosts successful event

14 hours ago | Sports

JEANETTE DIERGAARDTAbout 28 bodybuilders took part in the Titans Elite Competition, including five women.The Global Bodybuilding Organisation of Namibia (GBO) hosted the Titans Elite Competition...

CAF endorses controversial Super League

14 hours ago | Sports

Kick OffCAF moved an ominous step closer to shaking up the format of football on the continent after endorsing a controversial plan to introduce an...

8th fuel price increase for...

14 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUWith few days left before the festive season, motorists will have to dig deeper in their pockets as they plan their holidays. On Friday,...

Manufacturing a catalyst for economic...

14 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUA dominant manufacturing sector plays a vital in terms of employment creation, boosting exports, reducing imports, strengthening the local currency and eventually enhancing economic...

Investment bill will deter money

14 hours ago | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – There is no point in having an investment promotion agency like the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) if it has...

SPYL recalls Governor Sheya from...

14 hours ago | Politics

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKThe Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) national executive committee passed a vote of no confidence in one of its influential members, its secretary...

Teacher guilty of raping learner...

14 hours ago | Justice

STAFF REPORTERThe State is appealing a magistrate’s decision last week to keep a teacher convicted of raping and fathering a child with his 13-year-old student...

Footballers owed money

14 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMILife for the vast majority of Namibian footballers, both male and female, is a far cry from the glitz and glamour of those lucky...

Load More