Fire destroys 150 hectares in Mau forest in Kenya

0
158
Some of the locals trying to put out fire at Maasai Mau forest.The fire that broke out Tuesday evening at the forest has consumed over 200 hectares of bamboo.[PHOTO:ROBERT KIPLAGAT ]

Some of the locals trying to put out fire at Maasai Mau forest.The fire that broke out Tuesday evening at the forest has consumed over 200 hectares of bamboo.[PHOTO:ROBERT KIPLAGAT ]
Nearly 150 hectares of bamboo have been destroyed after fire swept through the Mau Forest.

Residents living near the forest fled the area after the fires consumed the area.

This comes at a time when climate change and enviromental conservation is at the forefront of the global agenda at the recently concluded United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi Kenya in March. 

Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Eco-system Conservator Mwai Muraguri said the blaze had ravaged areas such as Bosnia, Eor Nabayie and Osuiyani.

“The fire broke out at around 6pm Tuesday evening in Bosnia. Due to the dry spell, it quickly spread to the other two areas and destroyed about 15 square kilometres of vegatation,” said Mr Muraguri.

He said Mau Forest was home to various wildlife species, among them over 40 elephants whose lives were in danger from the fire.

“We are working with a multi-agency team from the county government, Kenya Wildlife Service, Mara Elephant Project and the Kenya Water Towers Agency. Residents are also helping us fight the fire,” said Muraguri.

The conservator said he suspected that the fire might have been caused by human activities.

He said intelligence reports had revealed that herders grazing illegally inside the forest might have started the fire as part of a cultural practice that is supposed to increase the available pasture for their animals.

“Some herders believe that when they burn the forest and smoke gathers in the skies, it will condense and form rain. This idea is retrogressive and should not be condoned,” said Muraguri.

Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina requested that both national and county governments move expeditiously and put off the fire.

“I have just received information of a fire at Mau forest. I have spoken to County Commissioner George Natembeya who confirmed to me that some criminals have resorted to burning the forest,” said Ledama.

He pleaded with anyone with the information on who started the fire to come forward and help the government in dealing with the menace.

Leave a Reply