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Africa’s Highest Peak is On Fire

Efforts are continuing in Tanzania to extinguish a fire that has broken out on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Members of the Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) and local people have been struggling to put out the blaze which began on Sunday. Their efforts have been hampered by the altitude as well as strong winds and dry weather which have caused the fire to spread fast. The cause of the fire is not clear. But according to a Pascal Shelutete, an official from Tanapa, the blaze started at the Whona area, a rest centre for climbers using two of the several routes up the mountain. The parks authority said in a statement that it had taken “every step to make sure that, the fire will not affect the lives of tourists, their equipment, porters and tour guides”. Mount Kilimanjaro, which is 5,895m high is a popular tourist destination and tens of thousands of people climb it every year. The mountain is located on the border between Kenya and Tanzania and both countries have benefited immensely from tourism activities around it. Amboseli national park in Kenya, renowned for its vast herds of elephants, derives its water from the mountain.