Fire burns down nearly 2% of natural vegetation on Mount Kilimanjaro: Official

At least 34.2 square kilometre of natural vegetation on Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, were destroyed by the recent fire outbreak in about 10 days, an official said.

William Mwakilema, the Conservation Commissioner for the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), said on Friday that the destroyed natural vegetation was equivalent to 1.9 per cent of the mountain’s conservation area.

Briefing journalists in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha on the impacts of the fire that broke out on Africa’s highest mountain from October 21 to November 1, Mwakilema added the fire also killed a number of snakes, lizards and rats.

He said firefighters from various public and private institutions faced challenges when fighting the fire, including the inability to fight fire in high altitude, inaccessibility of areas that caught fire, and strong winds that made the fire spread faster, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mount Kilimanjaro, one of Tanzania’s leading tourist destinations, is about 5,895 metre above sea level. Nearly 50,000 trekkers from across the world attempt to reach the summit of the mountain annually.

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