Luanda: It is a more severe wildfire in Angola than what is raging in Brazil or Amazon says Sreekumar Menon, Indian ambassador to the west African country.
In an email to Mathrubhumi.com, Sreekumar Menon said that the Angolan government has sought the help of United Nations (UN) to tackle the issue.
He said that the fires are in the dry savannah lands bordering Congo. The government says that the fire is being tackled. The ambassador is of the view that Congo is also experiencing difficulties.
Angola has global forest coverage of 60 million hectares. It has recorded an annual deforestation rate of 8.2 percent, which is lower than any other African country.
Quoting Government sources, Sreekumar Menon said that peasants and farmers in various places in Angola light the fires to prepare land for cultivation. Although such practices are described as illegal and wrong, its customary in many African countries.
A native of Palakkad district in Kerala, Sreekumar Menon is widely travelled Africa. A senior diplomat with Indian Foreign Service (IFS) he has served as the ambassador in South Sudan and held top positions in Indian missions in Netherlands, Iran and Czechoslovakia.