17 square kilometres razed by mt Kilimanjaro wildfire

MOSHI: A TOTAL of 17 square kilometres Mt Kilimanjaro forest has been destroyed by the wildfire that erupted last week at the north eastern area of Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) in Rongai area, Rombo District, in Kilimanjaro Region.

“This was revealed over the weekend by the KINAPA Head Assistant Commissioner of Conservation, (ACC) Angela Nyaki when briefing members of the media concerning the wildfire. She said all the tourist related activities were going on as usual.

“The area destroyed is 0.9 per cent of the total area of the park which has a total of 1,712 square kilometres. We thank all those who joined us in putting off the fire,”  she said.

The KINAPA management got the reports of the fire from the Tanzania Forests Services (TFS) officials on September 3, this year, whereby she said immediately the KINAPA team started efforts to put off the fire, said Ms Nyaki.

“The KINAPA team in collaboration with others from the different security organs, residents from different areas of Rombo District embarked on mission to curb the fire a move which was successful because by Friday, at about 13:00 in the afternoon the fire had been contained by more than 90 per cent,”  she added.

Commenting on the challenges which fire fighters met during the five days of the operation as by Saturday, ACC Nyaki said they included heavy clouds and smoke which she said had often been an obstacle for firefighters to do their work.

“In the past five days firefighters contended with strong winds, a cloudy situation as well as heavy smoke. However, moderate change of weather which included rain helped contain the blaze”, she noted.

ACC Nyaki continued to say that the fire has not caused any harm and that all tourism activities on Mount Kilimanjaro continued as usual and without any worries for the climbers of the highest mountain in Africa as well as those who serve them.

For his part, Senior Conservation Officer Mr Mapinduzi Mdesa, who heads the ongoing KINAPA operation, said the availability of some good equipment had helped contain the wild fire.

“As you remember when celebrating the 50 years of KINAPA’s existence, we received some of the equipment to contain fires in Mount Kilimanjaro from the government of China, this equipment helped us a lot in containing the fire which erupted recently”, he said.

“When the fire broke out, we deployed groups of people who volunteered to put out the fire through different routes who used different equipment and as a result we were able to contain the fire which did not cause any kind of harm”.

Related Articles

Back to top button