BULAWAYO firefighters have complained that rampant bush fires around the city are straining their resources.
The city’s chief fire officer Richard Peterson said many people were busy clearing their fields, resulting in rampant bush fires.
“As it is, all the cars are out as they are putting off bush fires caused by people who are clearing their fields as we are approaching the rainy season,” he said.
“Some of the fires are caused by homeless people who will want to warm themselves as the winter has not ended.”
Peterson said the department had done awareness campaigns on dangers of starting veld fires but the strategy was not working.
“We need to re-strategise and come up with new ways, which are effective so as to try and stop the unnecessary burning ,”he said.
Meanwhile, councillors have also expressed concern over the increasing number of residents bitten by dogs in the city, saying it could lead to a rabies outbreak.
Ward 26 councillor Gideon Mangena said residents’ lives were in danger after a report was tabled at a full council meeting last week showing that the city recorded 27 dog bites last month.
Mangena said the dogs were also littering the city and by-laws must be used to address the problem.
“Let us use laws when people don’t know how to take care of their dogs,’’ he said
Councillor Charles Moyo weighed in, saying dog owners must take responsibility for their pets.
“The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals should be called whenever someone has dogs that are against the law,” he said.
Councillor Silas Chigora said by-laws were not being enforced, hence the increasing number of stray dogs.
“Rules are there, if a property is less than 2 000 square metres, one cannot keep more than two dogs. The dogs must be licensed and vaccinated. If the dog is outside the premises, it must be on a leash,” he said.
“Anyone who operates outside these parameters must be fined.”
—SHARON SIBINDI/ALEXIS SIBANDA