Africa-Press – Tanzania. MISSENYI District Commissioner (DC), Colonel Wilson Sakulo has appealed to residents to take collective responsibility in ending rampant bush fires that cause loss of biodiversity, human and animal lives, and destruction of properties, deforestation and land degradation.
Equally, he tasked leaders at the grassroots level to take action and prosecute people who are behind such unruly actions. He issued the warning recently following reports indicating that bush fires were increasing, resulting in destruction of properties, natural habitats and biodiversity.
Col Sakulo explained that due to uncontrolled fires, several water sources have dried up. “We have to take immediate action to end the vice before we face the consequences. However, this technique is controversial as it can lead to deforestation, soil erosion and loss of biodiversity,” he said.
Jasson Baitubake (64) from Kilimilile village raised a concern that his 20 hectare tree plantation was recently destroyed by wild bush fire, causing a loss of an estimated 80m/-.
Reports had it that some of the farmers cut down the vegetation and set fire in order to clear the land to plant crops.
That way of clearing land is considered the cheapest and has the advantage of killing pests and diseases while providing nutrients for future crops and rangeland.
Wildfire, also known as wildland fire, bushfire or forest fire leave insurmountable destruction, causing loss of biodiversity, loss of human and animal life, destruction of properties, deforestation and land degradation.
The smokes from these fires pose acute respiratory health risks while increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
These agricultural activities include slash and burn to prepare the land for crop planting or after crop harvest, pastoral activities which include clearing land for livestock or for regeneration of pastures, as well as honey collection and charcoal burning.