Tanzania Calls for International Assistance in Wildfire Fighting
8 March 1999
Fig.1. Region of the recent vegetation fires around Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Between 1997 and 1999 several reports from Tanzania and Kenya revealed the increasing fire problems within the high-elevation mountain forests of Mr.Kilimanjaro and Mt.Kenya. In 1997 more than 5,000 ha of forest and peatland between 2,800 and 4,000 m burned by wildfires. Since then a total of 21,000 of mountain forests were damaged by fire, according to the reports from the journal “The East African”. Tanzania´s Ministry for Tourism and Environment has called for international assistance to overcome the problems of increasing wildfires which are devastating to the biodiversity resources in the mountains. The situation is quite different from the lowland savannas, open Miombo forests and East African grasslands between Zambia / S-Tanzania and N-Kenya where fire plays an important role in maintaining a dynamic equilibrium of ecosystem processes.