Underground coal seam fires have been burning for years and are threatening homes and lives of 20,000 people in the coal mining town of Hwange in Matabeleland North in Zimbabwe. The Times Live reported that a report by the Centre for Natural Resource Governance has revealed horrific stories of people sinking into underground coal fires in coal mining town of Hwange in Matabeleland North. In 2009, a 10-year-old boy was herding cattle when the ground gave in under his feet. Recently, an eight-year-old girl died after suffering third degrees burns when she fell into a coal fire pit as the ground beneath her carved in.Centre for Natural Resource Governance Director Farai Maguwu told TimesLIVE that the coal mining company needed fire tracker systems to identify high-risk areas in the community. He said “HCCL is under administration. I do not understand how they will raise the money to pay the German company. Putting out coal seam fires is a very expensive exercise. HCCL should work on getting a state-of-the-art fire tracking system and erect fences around dangerous sites. The problem is not only about humans falling into fires, it also affects wildlife which can get agitated by fires, resulting in exacerbation of human/wildlife conflicts. The company must also carry out vigorous awareness-raising campaigns in the community. Most Hwange residents are not aware of the prevalence of coal seam fires.”Coal seam fire are an underground burning fire and are ignited by human activity in the process of coal mining. They can burn for decades. The out-of-sight fires pose health threats to surrounding communities and the environment hazards include toxic fumes, reigniting fires and sinkholes.