Veld fires continue to rage countrywide – 59 farms affected
In the period of two weeks, Namibia has recorded a total of 27 veld fires countrywide, burning 59 farms covering 143, 000 hectares, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) reported this week.
The fires were recorded in areas of Outjo- Otjiwarongo Districts; Steinhausen District; Windhoek District; Otjiwarongo Okahandja Districts; Tsumeb – Tsintsabis District and Zambezi Region. MEFT spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda said.
“A total of 135 livestock and 75 wild animals were killed in the fire. The fire has also led to the destruction of infrastructure like fences and water pipes. Most of the fires are believed to have been caused by arsonists and charcoal burners. Fortunately, there have been no fatalities reported in the last two weeks,” he added.
According to Muyunda, the ministry is conducting a comprehensive assessment of damages caused by the fire.
“We wish to thank the ministry’s officials, private farmers, NAMPOL, NDF, Town Councils, Otjiwarongo Firefighters Group, neighbourhood watches, fire brigades and in some instances, members of the public for their collaborative efforts and prompt responses to extinguish fires whenever required,” he added.
Meanwhile, the ministry said it continues to monitor the outbreaks of forest and veld fires nationwide based on remote sensing and aerial surveillance techniques.
The main causes of the forest and veld fires have been attributed to charcoal production operations, mechanical appliances such as graders, recreational activities such as picnics, smokers, and local natural resource management-related activities such as hunting, honey production and thatch-grass harvesting.