Firefighters, community and business stakeholders together with Environmental Management Agency trained villagers have been working tirelessly for the past five days to put out a veld fire in the Madumabisa area of Hwange. Madumabisa is a mine located in the Hwange town in the district not far from the Hwange National Park Northern boundary and within it is Madumabisa village which is inhabited by the mine workers.
Matabeleland North Provincial Manager for Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Mrs Mpofu-Zuze confirmed that investigations have pointed to poaching activities as the cause of the fire. There have been several resurgences from the smoldering embers and a fire tender has since been dispatched from the Hwange Colliery Company.
The Victoria Falls and Hwange area falls in region five of Zimbabwe’s natural regions and it is hot and dry at this time of year. The winter months span from June to August and are cold and dry. From the winter, the season changes straight into summer which starts in September right into November and this is the period where the risk of veld fires is high as the rains are only expected to arrive in December. High temperatures act as a catalyst for veld fires. The rainy season is hot and humid with thunderstorms and spans from December to February.
EMA has been carrying out educational campaigns in the Hwange community. Amongst these are initiatives where communities are encouraged to cut and sell grass instead of burning it just after the winter season as this could easily lead to a veld fire.
Note from VF24 – There are reports circulating of other fires in the area in and around Hwange and we have been informed that any fire directly effecting the park is receiving the full attention of both the department of National Parks and a lot of input from local safari operators.
If anyone has specific information or updates on these fires please send them through to us on firstname.lastname@example.org so we can pass them on.
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