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N°: 3088

Fire emergency assistance in Simien Mountains National Park

State Party
74,225 USD
Approved amount
23 Apr 2019
Decision Date
Process Step
Live burn training (Source – John Guernier)

Uncontrolled wildfires such as those that raged in the Simien National Park (SNP) World Heritage property in March 2019 can seriously degrade aspects of its Outstanding Universal Value. Controlling the fires in 2019 was largely an ad-hoc process involving local communities but their capacity was often overwhelmed. The fires have burned about 1045ha of key habitats of the afro alpine grass land and some parts of Erica belt in SNP. 

The main objective was to develop more effective fire-fighting approaches and build the logistical capacity of the park management and local authorities so that a professional and safe response can rapidly be initiated.


A training took place over 12 days from 10 to 21 February 2020 for 58 participants, including representatives from all Ethiopian federal national parks together with relevant representatives from local government. Theoretical components were delivered at a hotel venue in Gondar with practical sessions taking place in SNP. 

The training consisted of 3 days that covered the background and legislation relating to wild fires in Ethiopia, causes and post fire management. This was followed by 6 days focussing on fire suppression with practical sessions on fire-fighting techniques including safety leading to individual assessment of participant’s learning. Finally, a 3-day training held by representative of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission and the Addis Ababa Fire Service focussed on the importance of developing an Incident Command System (ICS) as a tool for coordinating actions to deal with disasters such as wild fires.

Although the trainees are not qualified advanced firefighters, they now have solid knowledge of what firefighters should be able to safely do. This training was way overdue on a management level. But even though there was good transfer of knowledge, there is still a very real shortage of fully equipped and trained firefighters for the Ethiopian National Parks.

Amount Requested: 74,225 USD
Type of Assistance: Natural / Emergency
World Bank: LIC
LDC: Yes
N°: 3088
Decision: Approved
Decision by: Chairperson
Approved amount: 74,225 USD
Decision Date: 23 Apr 2019