The wildfire that was easily started by a man who wanted to catch mice for relish spread quickly igniting brush, trees, a demonstration garden and homes at The Malawi United Methodist Church farm and the surrounding village in Mchinji on 8th October, 2012 at around 1400hrs.
“The fire caught us by surprise at around 2pm. It was spreading fast because it was a sunny windy day. We have lost farm produce worthy MK156,000. Some have lost bags of fertilizer. Lucky enough, the farm workers helped to water some of the shelters. That’s how we managed to save them. It was really terrible.” Narrated Rose Mhone, the wife of the Agriculture Manager
“It was like i was watching a movie. I was stranded. I did not know what to do and where to put the vehicle to protect it from the fire”. Recalled Pamela, a volunteer from the US at the farm
“Lucky enough no one was hurt apart from a 4 year old girl who drunk liquid fertilizer. After inhaling the smoke, she became so thirst that she thought it was water. She has been admitted at the hospital and is in a stable condition” said one of the farm workers.
Wildfires leave much more behind than fire-scarred buildings, ash and destruction. Smoke poses health problems including headaches, nausea, dizziness and respiratory problems.
By Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo