Blessings Chidakwa in Kadoma
Veld fires have claimed at least 100 people across the country in the past nine years amid calls for a proactive approach to prevent the incidents.

According to the Environmental Management Agency board member, Mrs Juliet Chiketa, the country needs to step up prevention of veld fires ahead of the forthcoming dry season.

A cumulative figure of 100 deaths have been recorded due to veld fires since 2009.

Addressing residents at Turf in Mhondoro-Ngezi at the weekend, Mrs Chiketa challenged women to be more participatory in safeguarding the environment.

“As the fire season is now approaching, let us prevent veld fires.

“At least 100 human lives have been lost since 2009, as well as property worth millions of dollars.

“Women should be more active in advocating environmental issues. At church and political gatherings they flock in their numbers, but on issues affecting the environment they seem to be less involved.

“Women are custodians of the environment since they are affected directly by environmental degradation and deforestation.”

She said a collective effort was needed to safeguard the environment.

“In this world everything depends on another, hence collective effort is key to addressing environmental issues. Challenges can be easily resolved through working with community leaders.

“Councils should also take a leaf from Mhondoro-Ngezi, which has enforced by-laws that recognises the preservation of the environment.”

She said tree planting should be a community ritual.

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