Committee raises alarm over fire incidences
The Naivasha Sub-County Security Committee is investigating causes of the recent fires that have hit a number of wildlife conservancies, destroying acres of vegetation and wildlife habitats in the past few days.
Sub-County Commissioner Isaac Masinde regretted that hundreds of acres of vegetation had been destroyed in the mysterious fires at Longonot National Park, the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) Game farm and Malu Conservancy, raising concern among the stakeholders in the County.
Masinde further said it was suspected that some of the herders who have invaded the affected areas in search of pastures and water for their livestock could have been behind the incidences.
“The recent fire on Tuesday night consumed about 50 acres of vegetation at the Game Farm that also serves as animal corridor,” Masinde said.
The Administrator further claimed that the herders were burning vegetation, an act associated with the Maasai cultures and traditions and warned that the practice was illegal.
He warned that the government would not allow the habit by the herders to burn grass so as to attract rains and warned that if they continued, the government would have no other option but take actions against them.
Masinde also cautioned some youths whom he said had been contracted to clear bushy sections of the Nairobi-Nakuru and Naivasha-Mai Mahiu Highways against being careless while burning the wastes, noting that this could be a recipe for fire outbreaks due to the current dry spell that is being witnessed in most parts of the country.
He cited an incident that occurred at Karai area along the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway where motorists plying the route were inconvenienced due to huge smoke emanating from the burning bushes and urged the youths to dispose the wastes in a more environmentally friendly way.
Officer-in-Charge of the Hells Gate National Park Hapicha Ellema however blamed charcoal burners on the Longonot National Park fire incident, saying the fire destroyed hundreds of acres of the vegetation, a move she added, had adversely affected movement of animals at the park.
She urged communities living around the park to be careful, particularly during dry season, adding that the Park management had made tremendous strides to ensure that the fire cases were reduced in the two parks so as to save the little vegetation left that could help feed wildlife ahead of the expected rains.
The alert comes in the wake of increased cases of burning incidences in Naivasha with the latest being that of last (Thursday) night where over 100 houses were said to have been reduced into ashes at Ngondi Trading Center in Maella area.