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Tanzanian armed forces deployed to fight wildfires in Kilimanjaro

Africa’s highest mountain and one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations is on fire for the second time in two years. In October 2020, thousands of hectares of forest on the slopes of Kilimanjaro were destroyed in a week-long disaster.

Hundreds of soldiers from the Tanzania People’s Defense Force (TPDF) have joined firefighters to help fight the blazes on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. The military will cooperate with other agencies and volunteers to prevent the two-week inferno from further destroying surrounding flora and fauna.

“TPDF officers and men have already arrived in the Siha and Mweka areas of the Kilimanjaro region ready to fight the fire,” a statement from an army official said.

The troops were deployed after efforts by hundreds of firefighters, national park staff, tour guides and civilians to put out the blaze proved largely ineffective.

The exact cause of the fires is still unknown. The current disaster began on October 21 near a camp along a popular hiking route. According to the Tanzanian government, the fire was most likely caused by human activities.

Drought, strong winds and layers of rotting organic matter are cited as factors that hamper firefighting.

Prolonged droughts in Africa have had a devastating effect on the continent’s population and have been blamed on global warming. According UNEPAfrica suffers disproportionately from the effects of climate change – it suffers the worst effects but contributes only two or three percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

sputniknews Gt

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