Porters blamed for the still raging Mt Kilimanjaro fire

14Oct 2020
Correspondent
Moshi
The Guardian
Porters blamed for the still raging Mt Kilimanjaro fire

​​​​​​​PRELIMINARY investigations by security organs on the cause of fire raging in Mt Kilimanjaro National Park indicates that some porters travelling with groups of tourists lit the fire to warm the food but which they did not fully extinguish.

Paschal Shelutete.

The fire erupted on Sunday evening at Wahona area, a resting camp for climbers using Mandara and Horombo routes.

Paschal Shelutete, Senior Assistant Commissioner in charge of communications at the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) said here yesterday that the smouldering fire later caught grass surrounding the camp.

“Efforts are continuing to ensure the fire is extinguished using various units including the Fire Brigade and Rescue Services, students from Mweka College of African Wildlife Management and volunteers from nearby villages and reserve forces,” he said.

Further investigations were being conducted by TANAPA, he said, noting all the same that the entire incident was unfortunate and unforeseen, and that efforts to extinguish the fire were bearing fruit.

However, camp sources say that the fire overwhelmed firefighters at around midnight, spreading fast due to strong winds, with the Mandara-Horombo route most affected.

TANAPA was working to ensure that all routes used by tourists to climb Mt Kilimanjaro are safe and tourist activities continue smoothly, he said, urging those intending to come to do so without anxieties.

“I therefore assure tourists to continue coming to view the beauty of our mountain,” he stated

Herry Temu, the chairman of Kitowo Village called on potential volunteers to participate in putting out the fire to save the mountain viewing activities.

Dmitry Litkor, a tourist from Spain said despite the raging fire, he and his companions had succeeded to reach the mountain’s summit without sharp challenges.

Mount Kilimanjaro which attracts millions of climbers is a dormant volcano. It has three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira,the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain peak in the world at 5,895 metres above sea level, and about 4,900 metres above its plateau base