|Dear ATC Readers,
The 29th edition of the Rhino Charge has been flagged off this morning with 62 entrants competing in Songa Conservancy, Marsabit County, Northern Kenya.
This followed the pulling out of the race by three competing cars.
At crack of dawn, the competing cars lined up at the start with revving engines, anxiety etched on the faces of chargers and their supporters.
Following the drivers briefing held on Friday evening, the raffle was conducted by Tracey White, a member of the Raffle Committee in presence of Christian Lambrechts, Rhino Ark Executive Director. The winners of the raffle will be announced during the Prize-giving tomorrow (Sunday, 4th June).
The Rhino Charge, which has been held since 1989, has grown over the years in fundraising reaching KES 139 million last year. During the past 28 years, the event has raised a total of KES 1.16 billion. Proceeds from the events have contributed significantly to the conservation of Kenya’s key mountain forests which are sources of the Nation’s water resources.
The recent drought has been a strong reminder of our dependence on natural ecosystems, in particular the mountain forests that provide much of the water required to sustain life and support economic development. To mitigate people’s vulnerability to an increasingly volatile climate, it is paramount to protect and conserve Kenya’s mountain forests and make them healthier and more resilient. This has been the mission of Rhino Ark since its inception and is at centre of its conservation work.
Rhino Ark is providing a platform for the private sector to invest through the Rhino Charge in the conservation of mountain forests that are primarily managed by Government agencies, in particular Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service. With funding from the Rhino Charge and support from these agencies, key challenges affecting these mountain forests have largely been addressed. These challenges include human wildlife conflicts, encroachments, illegal logging and charcoal production.
To date, key conservation achievements of Rhino Ark include: (i) the completion of the 400km electric fence around the Aberdare ecosystem and the 43.3 km electric fence around Mau Mount Eburu, (ii) the construction of 155km of the 450 km electric fence around Mt. Kenya, and (iii) the securing of the wildlife corridor between Mau Mount Eburu and Lake Naivasha. Latest detailed information of the conservation work spearheaded by Rhino Ark can be found in the charity’s newsletter ARKive at the following URL: http://rhinoark.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ARKive-May-2017-Final_Web.pdf
This year’s Charge event is being promoted by Brand Kenya as a home-grown national initiative to address conservation challenges facing the country’s mountain forests.
Photographs of the on-going activities of the event are accessible at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/r7xgwtzr6adaigc/AAB0-hav4zxheSW2RalglWBLa?dl=0. For photo credits, use the file name.
The digital channels of the Rhino Charge and Rhino Ark are: