THE newly implemented national fire management programme by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) is aimed at detecting, preventing and suppressing forest fires in anticipation of the dry season that lasts from July to January.
Romeo Muyunda, spokesperson the MEFTsaid that nearly 2 million Hectares of vegetation in fire prone regions are destroyed by forest fires each year, thereby threatening lives and property and degrading the environment.
“The ministry considers forest fire management an issue of national importance. Under this management strategy, more effort is put on education and training local communities in firefighting skills and establishing fire community-based crews to assist in cases of fires in their communities. Training involves fire behaviour and effects, fire prevention, firefighting and management. The ministry, through the Directorate of Forestry can also assist individuals, communities and organizations with basic training and development of fire management plans that will give guidance on how to manage fires on a piece of land,” Muyunda emphasized.
According to Muyunda, the ministry has also begun with the internationally practised 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 the ministry is also in the process of servicing and repairing firefighting vehicles and machineries.