Tanapa orders urgent measures to stop fires around Kilimanjaro

THE Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) Board Chairman, General (Retired) George Waitara, has ordered urgent measures to stop fires and ensure cleanliness around Mount Kilimanjaro.

Speaking during a ceremony to receive Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) soldiers - and journalists - that scaled the mountain, General Waitara said the mountain is a key in tourism sector in the country. Gen.

Waitara stressed that he did not want to hear any more of incidents of fire around the mountain, directing that the Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) should plant a lot of trees around the mountain to maintain its snow cover.

The TANAPA Board Chair, who has himself climbed the mountain for eight years in a row, said they did that to honour the 55 years of Tanganyika independence and to promote local tourism. He said that about 600 soldiers wanted to take part in the expedition but failed due to limited resources.

“I am told that this year more than 600 soldiers wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. But there were no enough preparations. From next year, they will be coming in large numbers to promote domestic tourism; so get prepared,” he told the KINAPA management.

The former CDF said KINAPA had to put in place more decent facilities and services for international celebrities and leaders instead of relying on tents, which he admitted were not very safe and at times overwhelmed by snow.

He called upon Tanzanians and other people in the country to cultivate a culture of hiking the mountain and visit other national parks to sample the beauty therein as well as contribute to the country’s coffers.

Insisting on cleanliness around the mountain, Gen. Waitara urged KINAPA to put in place special dustbins so that people do not litter around the mountain, something that could cause environmental degradation as well as escalate fire.

He reminded Kilimanjaro residents on the need to continue with the tree planting campaign and avoid cutting them, saying the region now suffered lack of enough water as it has decreased in many rivers while others have gone dry due to increased human activities.

“Sources of water have gone down and some rivers have gone dry due to human activities that have resulted into environmental degradation.

The government should take action to stop this and see more trees planted,” he said. urged the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and other stakeholders in the tourism sector to adhere to the agreement they had reached regarding the welfare of porters, guides and cooks, so that they offer good service to tourists.

He handed 1m/- to guides, porters and cooks who accompanied them to show his satisfaction to their services

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