Tourism stakeholders equip Kilimanjaro National Park with firefighting gear


This image shows one of the six containers filled with firefighting equipment donated by tourism stakeholders to Kilimanjaro National Park (Kinapa). Valued at over Sh210 million, these containers aim to bolster firefighting efforts and address a critical challenge faced by the park. Photo | Courtesy 

What you need to know:

  • The Sh210 million containers are a swift response to the fires that threaten the park's natural resources and wildlife. Notably, the park is a major source of water for Kilimanjaro residents.

Moshi. To combat recurring fire outbreaks in Kilimanjaro National Park (Kinapa), home to Mount Kilimanjaro, tourism stakeholders have donated six containers filled with modern firefighting equipment.

These Sh210 million containers are a swift response to the fires that threaten the park's natural resources and wildlife. Notably, the park is a major source of water for Kilimanjaro residents.

The latest fire, on September 3rd, 2023, ravaged the upper northeastern section of the park, between 3,900 and 4,000 metres above sea level.

Tourism stakeholder and Altezza Travel director, Mr Dmitry Andreichuk, said the equipment will help in the quick response against forest fires and prevent extensive damage to natural vegetation.

Speaking during the handover, at the Mweka Gate, Mr Andreichuk said each container is stocked with sufficient firefighting equipment, enabling a team of 600 people to swiftly respond to such incidents.

"The six containers contain various tools, including shovels, rakes, machetes, chainsaws, and axes, essential for firefighting and preventing the spread of inferno, therefore mitigating further damage," he said.

"Having 600 people enter the forest simultaneously with equipment will ensure an efficient response, enabling us to extinguish fires in their early stages,” he added.

Furthermore, he said that with the installation of delivered containers, the safety of Kilimanjaro Park will be enhanced, therefore helping the government achieve its goal of five million tourists annually.

The company’s assistant director, Mr Dickson Muganda, said fire outbreaks were the significant challenge posed by fire incidents in Kinapa, prompting their initiative to provide emergency containers equipped to swiftly contain fires and prevent major destruction within 12 hours.

"This assistance aims at protecting Mount Kilimanjaro, as it serves as a source of livelihood for various people, including university graduates who work as tourist guides or porters. It's essential to protect and preserve this mountain for the benefit of current and future generations," he noted.

Kinapa assistant commissioner for conservation, Ms Angela Nyaki, said the six containers have been strategically placed at the park’s six entry points, noting that they will enhance rapid response to fire incidents.

"We are very grateful to Altezza Travel for their significant contribution in combating fire incidents, including deploying their staff to assist in firefighting, providing education, and even planting trees around water sources to preserve the environment," she said.

Hai District Commissioner Amir Mkalipa urged residents living around Kilimanjaro Park to conduct their activities according to regulations to prevent fire incidents, which are largely caused by human activities.

"I urge the community around this park to adhere to proper procedures in their activities. We have noted that many fire incidents in this park are caused by human activities, and the government will continue educating all citizens on fire prevention measures to control these incidents."