Missenyi families left homeless by bush fires

SEVERAL families in Missenyi District were rendered homeless after their houses were gutted by uncontrolled bush fires causing a huge loss to properties.

Kagera Regional Police Commander (RPC), Assistant Commissioner William Mwampaghale explained that the incidents happened on August 11 to 12, this year at Buchurago Ward.

He named those who lost their houses including Kalibala Felician (31), Adventina Jacob (40), Editha Alex (43) and Zawadi Nyamwiza (46), all residents of Buchurago village.

“The villagers also managed to put off the fire on three other houses which had also caught fire. We are working closely with the Fire and Rescue Force to determine the cause of the fire. However, there were no casualties,” he said.

Meanwhile, Missenyi District Commissioner (DC), Col Wilson Sakulo has appealed to the residents to take collective responsibility in ending bush fires that cause loss of biodiversity, loss of human and animal life, destruction of properties, deforestation and land degradation.

Equally, he tasked leaders at the grassroots level to take action and prosecute   people who are behind the unruly actions.

He issued the warning recently following reports indicating that rampant bush fires were increasing resulting in destruction of properties, natural habitats and biodiversity.

Col Sakulo explained that due to uncontrolled fires several water sources had 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 an estimated loss of 80m/-.

Reports said that some of the farmers cut down the vegetation and set fire in order to clear the land to plant crops. This 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.

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