Kilimanjaro on fire: TPDF deploys troops 12 days after

DAR ES SALAAM— The Chief of Defence Forces of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) General Jacob John Mkunda has ordered the deployment of troops on Mt Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain – to help curb the raging flames.


“Officers and men of TPDF have already arrived in Siha and Mwika areas in Kilimanjaro Region ready to start the fire fighting operation,” said a statement by TPDF.


The statement added: TPDF will fully cooperate with other Defense and Security Agencies, various stakeholders and citizens to ensure that the fire is controlled early before it causes serious damage to the Park.


The statement which was issued on Nov 1, did not say exactly how many men and women had been deployed in the area by the TPDF


This comes days after the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) officials claimed that the fires had been contained.


Reports say that the fire which broke out on Africa’s highest peak Mouth Kilimanjaro, is still raging despite extensive efforts to bring them under control since Oct 21 near one of the most popular climbing routes.


There are also reports that another fire has also broken out on the eastern side of the mountain, near Mawenzi Peak.


Infra-red hotspots showed flames were still burning on Sunday in these two areas. People living near the mountain say they could see the fires burning at night from their villages.


A tour guide who live in Moshi almost 40 kilometers away shared pictures of the flames that continues to consume the moorland area of the mountain


More than 500 people, including firefighters, national park staff, tour guides and civilians, have been battling to put out the fire.