Government has taken the command programme to a new high following the launch of command veld fire introduced to fight veld fires while creating revenue streams for the national fiscus in line with President Emerson Mnangagwa’s 100 day quick wins programme.
Minister of Environment , Water and Climate, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told journalists in the capital that the program is meant to reduce the amount of fuel load which causes uncontrollable fires while creating employment for youths and women.
“The programme will also ensure that our field crops are not destroyed by veld fires . we are also want to ensure that there is adequate foliage and grazing for or cattle in the winter season.
“Combed grass and hay are sold locally with the hope of unlocking international markets hence , women and the youths will cut the grass and sell while benefiting from the sales,” said Kashiri.
She tasked the Environmental Management Agency to spearhead the programme which will see fire guards being set up by farmers, communities and all land owners.
Muchinguri-Kashiri also said awareness campaigns will be held while calling for stiffer penalties against offenders.
Zimbabwe has in the past suffered from numerous cases of veld fires triggering unprecedented harm to natural resources, forests, animal habitats while leading to the loss of life and property.
Veld fires continue to threaten the bio-physical, social and economic environment because of the level of destruction and direct impact on the economy.
According to EMA 90% of fires in Zimbabwe are anthropogenic (originate from human activity) and 10% natural.
Meanwhile, Muchinguri-Kashiri implored communities to embrace water harvesting to alleviate water shortages.
She said the water harvesting programme launched last year will see the construction of new weirs, rehabilitation of existing ones and drilling of boreholes as well as de-siltation of water bodies.
Government has already initiated Command Agriculture, Command Livestock, Command fisheries and Command water harvesting among other programmes introduced since 2016.