Fire destroys huge part of Ruma National Park

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BY CORRESPONDENT,29TH MARCH,2021-A fire which broke out on Sunday night  has destroyed many hectares of land in Runa National park Suba south constituency in  Migori county. Until the time of going to press Rangers and firefighters were  trying to extinguish the  fire .

The fire has burnt many hectares of land in the park which is shared by Ndhiwa, Suba North and Suba South constituencies.

The fire started on Sigama hills in Ndhiwa and continued spreading to other parts of the park.

Many hectares of land containing wildlife had been burnt by Monday morning and the fire continued to spread quickly.

Ruma National Park is the only habitat for roan antelopes in Kenya.

The park also hosts several species of wild animals including rhinos, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, antelopes, baboons, squirrels, folks, squirrel and ant-bears among others.

Reptiles and amphibians are also hosted.

The incident is likely to cause the deaths of wild animals because of suffocation due to smoke and fire in the park.

Some of the wild animals that are at risk of dying are rhinos, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes and antelopes.

Small mammals such as hare, amphibians and reptiles are also at risk.

The cause of the fire has not been established.

However, it is suspected that the fire might have started by a resident who was clearing their maize plantations ahead of the ongoing planting season before spreading to the park.

Ruma warden Titus Mitau confirmed the incident saying they are in the process of extinguishing the fire.

“I’m still fighting the fire hence we can’t speak now,” said Mitau said.

Kanyamwa Kosewe MCA Nicholas Owaka called on residents living around the park to be very cautious when they prepare their farms.

He told them to stop using fire to clear their farms for planting crops.

“Residents should change the method of clearing bushes using the fire for farming. We hope the fire will be extinguished and restore the situation,” Owaka said.

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