Windhoek-The Windhoek Municipality has cautioned residents to be careful not to set the environment on fire, as such blazes have an impact on natural ecosystems and cause damage to infrastructure and properties, among others.
A press statement issued by the municipality’s spokesperson, Lydia Amutenya, said the city experiences a lot of wildfires at this time of the year and human activities are almost entirely responsible for the fires.
Amutenya said they recorded about 36 fires in the informal settlements between January and June this year.
“These statistics therefore call for concerted efforts from our residents to take precautionary measures when handling fire,” said Amutenya.
She explained that the impact of wildfires on the environment includes the destruction of flora, fauna, infrastructure and properties, as well as affecting the quality of the air and can cause loss of life.
She pointed out that Windhoek has a lot of open spaces and is surrounded by mountain ecosystems and commonage farms. Therefore, she said, the open spaces serve many functions, such as preserving ecosystems, wildlife habitat, aesthetic, cultural, historical and archaeological areas, outdoor recreation, walkways and trails.
The City of Windhoek (CoW) therefore urged all residents to refrain from intentionally setting fires and throwing cigarette butts and any other items that can easily ignite the dry biomass, into the bush.
Residents were also urged to remove vegetation and any flammable material near their properties, four metres from the boundary wall, to help reduce the spread of wildfire and protect properties and human lives.
Residents may contact emergency services on 211 111 for any emergencies.