AFRICA/TANZANIA - Ecosystem damage continues as the country is engulfed in flames, just days after an incident on Lake Victoria

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Dodoma (Agenzia Fides) – Tanzania, overwhelmed by an active fire since October 21, deployed the army to respond to the fire that broke out on Kilimanjaro. On Tuesday, November 1, the country mobilized a military contingent to lend a hand to the firefighters, as well as civilians and volunteers to fight the fire. The government said no injuries have been reported so far.
A first fire had been detected near the Karanga camp, some 4,000 meters above sea level, a crossing point for mountaineers en route to the highest peak on the continent, 5,895 meters. The origin of the disaster has not yet been officially declared. The strong gusts of wind that have hit the region in recent days have complicated the situation and the rescue operations.
The soldiers have "already arrived on the mountain and are ready to put out the fire", the Tanzania Defense Force (TPDF) said. "We will work with other forces and volunteers to ensure the fire is brought under control quickly, before it causes significant damage", they said.
With its world-famous snow-capped peak, Kilimanjaro and its surroundings are classified as a National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a total area of over 750 square kilometers.
In recent hours, another tragedy has hit the country. Nineteen people lost their lives in the crash of a plane that crashed into Lake Victoria for causes that have yet to be clarified. The accident happened near the town of Bukoba, 100 kilometers from the capital.
"The Pope prays for the eternal rest of the dead, the healing of the wounded and strength for those who took part in the rescue and recovery operations," reads the condolence telegram sent to the Apostolic Nunciature in the country, assuring the spiritual closeness of Pope Francis to all those affected by this tragedy. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 8/11/2022)