One out of the two active forest fires that began Sunday night in the Aberdares has been contained, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said Monday evening.
Rhino Ark Charitable Trust said that the wildfires had been reported in the moorlands of the northern Aberdares and the Ngobobo area of Eburru Forest.
“On February 6 two fires outbreaks were reported at Oldonyo Lesatima, Aberdare’s highest peak. One of the fires that was spreading towards the Satima area has now been extinguished. The second fire started at the peak and continued spreading towards the downslope. 90 per cent of the fire has been contained and the teams in the ground are mopping the area to ensure the remaining pockets are put out,” Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said.
On 6th February 2022, two fires outbreaks were reported at Oldonyo Lesatima, Aberdare’s highest peak. One of the fires that was spreading towards the Satima area has now been extinguished. The second fire started at the peak and continued spreading towards the downslope. pic.twitter.com/4wxXZyRQ1o
— KWS (@kwskenya) February 7, 2022
A joint team of over one hundred trained staff, partners, community volunteers and firefighters are currently at the area working to contain the fire. A chopper has also been mobilized to coordinate their efforts. 90 per cent of the fire has been contained and the teams in the ground are mopping the area to ensure the remaining pockets are put out, reports KWS.
“At least 550 hectares (1,359.0775 acres) of the Aberdares has been destroyed. We saw five distinct fires pointing to criminal activities. All fires started in the moorlands near the forest line,” Rhino Ark Charitable Trust’s Executive Director Christian Lambrechts was quoted by the Star on Monday.
Africa is not responsible for climate change
In other news, Kenya on Sunday took over the Chairmanship of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) from South Africa.
This was on the sidelines of the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
CAHOSCC was established in 2009 by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to spearhead African Common Position on Climate Change.
2/3 In a virtual congratulatory message, South African President @CyrilRamaphosa said Kenya was best suited for the role having been "a leading voice on issues of climate change in Africa". pic.twitter.com/oxhOQd1DbO
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) February 6, 2022
“Africa is experiencing the worst impacts of phenomena associated with global warming such as droughts, floods and cyclones. Climate change impacts are costing African economies between 3 and 5 per cent of their GDP’s. Despite not being responsible for causing climate change, it is Africans who are bearing both the brunt and the cost,” President Cyril Ramaphosa, the outgoing chair said in a virtual meeting of the African Union Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change.
“It is imperative that we do not lose momentum and that climate change is not relegated to the periphery of the global development agenda,” he said.
He noted that in 2021, the continent spoke with one voice at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
“The complex Glasgow Climate Pact strives to strike the right balance by accommodating the differing national circumstances and capacities among the nearly two hundred parties. The aim is that all are enabled and empowered to contribute their fair share as well as to enhance their climate ambition.