Tsavo National Park Burning

Tsavo National Park Burning  : Tsavo National park is situated in the southeastern Kenya, east of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Tsavo National Park is the largest with (8,036) square miles (20,812 square km) of the Kenya’s national park, and notably as one of the largest game sanctuaries in the world, it was established in 1948.The Tsavo national park later was later split into the Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks for administrative purposes.

The Tsavo National Park is the largest protected area in Kenya and is a home to most of the larger mammals, vast herds of dust-red elephant, Rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, pods of hippo, crocodile, waterbucks, lesser kudu, gerenuk and the prolific bird life features 500 recorded species.

Tsavo National Park Fires.

It was Sunday, August 9th,2020 when the Kenya Wildlife Service said it contained a huge fire which started on Saturday afternoon at Tsavo national park. The Kenya Wildlife Service blamed arsonists and police saying that they were the pursuing suspects. Though hundreds of local volunteers and the military took part in putting out the fire after two days.

The Tsavo National Park in the south-eastern Kenya, is the country’s biggest national park and a home to hundreds of animals such as lions, elephants, buffaloes, the big five and among other many species. It is visited by thousands of local and international tourists each year. The fire came at a time when the Kenyan government is pushing for a revival of the crucial tourism industry which has lost $ 1 bn (£ 770 m) in revenue due to covid-19.

It was on a sunny, windy Wednesday, Sam Mwanganyi watches helplessly as his 100 acres of grass goes up, the resident of Makwasini village in Kasigau could not believe his investment of 17 years just has just been destroyed by fire in minutes, the neighbor who was clearing his farmland, has cost him a fortune, he had hoped to keep some cattle, but that he has to wait until the grass grows back because it was burnt by fire.

In a span of less than 10km, the Healthy Nation team counts at least three areas where large swathes of land have been consumed by fire at the sanctuary, that is the Rukinga, in the Kasigau Corridor Protection Area is one of the 28 group ranches and rhino sanctuaries in the Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) covering one million acres of rangelands Taita Taveta County. For the past five months, the ranches in Tsavo have been burning, the fires which have not been put out to date.

At least 197,000 acres of Tsavo had been razed by arsonists by the early September, as the scramble for meagre resources threatens the biggest conservation area in Kenya. Everybody wants a piece of Tsavo from the grass, the water, the meat to the wildlife trophies.

The Tsavo Conservation Area is 43,000 square kilometres and covers Tsavo East, Tsavo West, the Chyulu Hills National Parks and the 28 group ranches in Makueni, Taita-Taveta, Kitui, Tana River, Kilifi and Kajiado, at least 12600 it is a home to the large elephant population in the country, according to the 2017 census.

Tsavo National Park Burning
Tsavo National Park Burning

Suspects of the Tsavo National Park Burning.

The Kenya Wild Service (KWS) senior Assistant Director Robert Njue blames human activities for the fires, that is livestock herding, illegal honey harvesting, charcoal burning, aching and farming are threatening to snuff the life of Tsavo National Park. While some fires are involuntary most are voluntary, says Njue, who adds that poaching increased one month into the pandemic, ‘some are caused by the herders, who are deep inside the park, that’s what he said that ignited by the arsonists and also suspected. In Tsavo West National Park and the surrounding ranches, livestock herds in the area. Large swathes of land have been destroyed by raging fires.

The devastating fire that broke in Tsavo National park destroyed thousands of acres of land within the Tsavo West National park and endangering the lives of thousands of wild animals. The fire is much larger in scale than the one that broke out in May 2019, causing extensive damage to Kenya’s largest nature reserve, reducing 4000 acres of land to ashes. On the other hand, there might be a lot of fire-resistant trees and shrubs, which survive also on the other hand, all non-resistant grasses are eliminated, meaning there will be changes in the distribution of specific wildlife species.

Mammal, crawlers and bird species as well as micro-organisms were affected, as a result, there was   the disruptions in the food chain, the food web and consequently, biodiversity and the ecosystem. The mammals and the big five may not have been burned, but they were pushed either further inside the woods or outside of the protected areas and probably into people farms though some young ones have either been separated from their mothers or have died in the fires.

The greatest danger from the Tsavo burning is representing feat to the animals that besides being trapped in the flames and losing their lives, can escape everywhere, even outside the park and find themselves in problematic situations for them and for the humans. In addition to the medium-to- long distance damage caused by the lack of vegetation and therefore of food for many animal species, which will force them to migrate or seriously endanger their lives due to hunger.

In the other news from the reported in the natural media, the inferno could have been caused by the boy who is an area not far from the Lualenyi reserve, run by the Italian Davide Gremmo, set by the fire to burn brushwood. Flames that with the strong wind of these days would have spread the quick and spilled out the control. But also the poachers are also blamed for the fires for example their activities inside the conservation such as cooking have been linked to a fire or two.

The official Kenya wildlife Service said that the three fires have been reported in the Tsavo National Park are, the first in the Taita Ranches adjacent to Tsavo National Park East. The first fire was contained Tsavo National park west. And the third broke out in the Kikunduku area in Chyulu National park at 7:30 before invading the park. Efforts are now focusing on putting out the second one, in the southern part of the last night.

The Tsavo National Park it is going to be the first ecosystem fire station. ’We have started getting equipment; we want to respond actively to fires, we need the first station because of the effects of climate change, which may never go away, meaning that we shall continue to have dry and wet season, and the risky fires, ’adds Njue.

However, Fire is part of a cycle in most ecosystems, it reduces dead vegetation, stimulates new growth, reduce the hazard, control understory, improve the forage, increase the accessibility, enhance aesthetics and improves habitat for wildlife, many of the details park visitors imagine when they think of a natural park, with the fire suppression, fire was removed from the cycle and the ecosystems began to get out of balance.

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