Angola, DR Congo suffer ‘three times more fires than Brazil’ over 2-day period

27th August 2019

Brazil to reject €18 million aid package to fight Amazon wildfire damage offered by G7 leaders

As public concern continues to mount due to the severity of Amazon rain forest fires, a Nasa map of fires around the world shows that states within Central Africa have experienced a similar fate.

According to data Bloomberg news agency obtained from Weather Source, Angola suffered an estimate of three times more fires than Brazil over a two-day period last week.

Data showed how there were 6,902 fires in Angola, 3,395 fires in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, while Brazil suffered 2,127 fires in Brazil over the same period last week.

Snapshots taken from the Nasa website on Tuesday show dense red patches over Angola and Congo, as well as neighbouring countries.

nasa map

Nasa map depicting fires in South America, Africa - taken on Tuesday

Amid a growing diplomatic rift between the leader of France, President Emmanuel Macron, and the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, the latter has rejected an €18 million ($20m) aid package agreed upon by G7 leaders at their annual summit.

The aid package was the most concrete proposal to have come out of the summit, which took place in Biarritz, France.

BBC reports on observers who say that fires in Angola and surrounding countries appear to have been started on purpose due to a popular farming technique where trees and shrubs are felled, with the land set on fear to be cleared for the plantation of crops.

Farmers say that the ashes supply the soil with nutrients for future crop production, however environmentalists say that this method can lead to deforestation, soil erosion and a loss of biodiversity.

Fires in the Amazon are also believed to have started by agricultural workers raising land for production. The most lucrative agricultural business for Brazil, enjoying some of the highest exports, is the cattle farming and soybean production. Both are activities are land intensive.

One major shortcoming with the maps from Nasa is the inability to determine whether the areas marked as there having been a fire does not show whether it is grassland or forest, neither does it show how large the fires are.

It is reportedly common to have Amazon fires at this time of year due to the dry season making it easier to clear land. The same has been said in the case of Africa.


Helena Grech - 28th August 2019

Boris Johnson would be able to stop MPs from passing laws preventing a no-deal Brexit.

26th August 2019

US President Donald Trump skips summit talks on climate emergency and Amazon fires.

26th August 2019

America is one of two countries in the world, alongside Eritrea, that requires its citizens to pay tax on worldwide income, regardless of where they are residents.

20th August 2019

‘This government ends here,’ prime minister tells parliament.