Event highlights importance of wetlands

10 Feb,2016Fire Awareness

Mora than 60 school learners from different schools  together with Working on Fire, Department of Environmental Affairs, SAPS, Nquza Hill Municipality, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism and Sanparks celebrated World Wetlands Day at Mhlanga  JSS on the 2nd of this Month.

The main purpose of the day was to educate everyone about the importance of wetlands as well as the advantages and disadvantages of fire on wetlands.

Environmental Officer, Luyolo Sheyi , said that wetlands are important because they reduce the severity of droughts and floods by regulating stream  flow.

“We should not destroy wetlands or turn them into dumping sites as they provide livehood resources to rural poor in the form of drinking water,” Sheyi emphasised

According to Wongama Copiso, the Community Fire Awareness Officer from Working on Fire, one of the disadvantages of fire on wetlands is that it can lead to loss of seed due to wrong timing of fire.

“It can also lead to loss of vegetation,  composition and structure ,” Copiso added

School learners performed poems that emphasized the importance of the wetlands

Working on Fire is a national veld and forest fire fighting resource under the auspices of the Department of Environmental Affairs and has close to  600 fire fighters based at 22 bases throughout the Eastern Cape.

The programme provides veld fire suppression support to the province’s Disaster Management Centres, Fire Protection Associations and landowners such as South African National Parks and Cape Nature.