The FireWise Programme began in 2004 as an advocacy campaign initiated by Government and implemented by Kishugu (former Forest Fire Association) under the Working on Fire banner. The message that was communicated nationally was that “landowners must take responsibility for their land”. Through the growth of the FireWise concept and the success of the programme, Kishugu Non-Profit Company (NPC) emerged to focus on fulfilling the tender which it has been repeatedly awarded by Government.
Kishugu NPC is the founder and custodian of the “FireWise” concept in southern Africa, but encourages broad-based dissemination and ownership of the concepts in communities, placing much of the developed material into the public domain for use by stakeholders. Elements, such as ‘FireWise Communities’, have been added to strengthen the initial education and awareness concepts, and these are communicated via training courses and various publication materials. FireWise Communities has further evolved into a job creation platform offering part-time employment in rural areas where paid work is scarce.
Objectives of the Programme include:
- Improved human security: fire-adapted communities are resilient to the threat of fire
- Establishing good fire and land management practices to limit damage to life and property
- Improved economic empowerment of programme beneficiaries.