TEAM BUNDUFUNDI WINS THE 2021 RHINO CHARGE AS OVER 140 MILLION KENYA SHILLINGS RAISED FOR CONSERVATION
(Posted 20th July 2021)
This year’s Rhino Charge held on Saturday the 17th of July in Baringo County, raised a remarkable KES 140,537,908 given the prevailing reality of a depressed economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The overall Rhino Charge 2021 winner was Car No. 38 entered by Sean/Patrick/Kieran Avery (Bundufundi), followed by Car No. 33 entered by Jeremy Holley (Team Huzi) and Car No. 48 entered by Mark Glen (Team 48) in second and third places, respectively.
This year, 44 out of a maximum total of 65 potential competitors took part in the charge, partly out of COVID-19 travel restrictions and adverse impacts.
Prizes were awarded yesterday morning at a colourful ceremony held at the Charge venue, Baringo County, attended by, among others, Senator Gideon Moi, Governor Stanley Kiptis, Tourism and Wildlife Principal Secretary Prof. Fred Segor (who represented Cabinet Secretary Hon. Najib Balala), Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Chairman Peter Kinyua and KFS Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau.
The highest fundraiser was Peter Kinyua (Car 23) who secured KES 36,243,250. He beat his own record in 2019 (the last Rhino Charge where he raised KES 23 million) by securing the highest ever figure raised by an individual competitor in one year since the Rhino Charge was established in 1989. In second and third positions were Adil Khawaja of Car 44 (AK44) with KES 21,361,001 and Stanley Kinyanjui of Car 62 (Magnate Chargers) with KES 11,713,500.
Graham McKittrick’s Car No. 5 (Team 5) scooped the Victor Ludorum award, which rewards winners for distance and funds raised, followed by Mark Glen’s Car No. 48 (Team 48) and Eddy Verbeek’s Car No. 1 in second and third positions, respectively.
The Modified Class Category was won by Car No. 38 entered by Sean/Patrick/Kieran Avery (Bundufundi), followed by Car No. 33 entered by Jeremy Holley (Team Huzi) and Car No. 48 entered by Mark Glen (Team 48) in second and third places, respectively.
Under the Unmodified Class, Car No. 9 entered by John Bowden (Gumtree 4×4) was ranked top, followed by Car No. 54 entered by Ole Vestergaard Johansen (Danish Kifarus) and Car No. 19 registered by Petra Somen (Bush Babes) in second and third positions, respectively.
Full results of the 2021 Rhino Charge are available at http://rhinocharge.co.ke/results/
Christian Lambrechts, Rhino Ark Executive Director, said two years ago, no one would have believed that the world would be so extensively affected by a pandemic, adding that last year very few people were of the view that a Rhino Charge could be held under such conditions.
“Yesterday, we demonstrated our resilience. We demonstrated that when we all focus together with determination and with the same purpose, we can make it. Yesterday, we had a superb charge event!”
He noted that Rhino Ark does not work in isolation. “All our conservation interventions are implemented through public/private partnership that involved key government agencies, in particular KFS and KWS.”
Mr. Lambrechts said that last year was a year like no other at Rhino Ark. He noted that the cancellation of the 2020 Rhino Charge led to a massive reduction in our expected core funding. “To address this situation, we adopted far-reaching cost-saving measures, including salary cuts, and revised our programme of work. The situation was compounded by the heavy rainfalls of 2020 that led to numerous landslides destroying many sections of our fences in Aberdares, in Eburu and on Mt. Kenya."
Among the key achievements he highlighted are:
- Repairing and maintaining fences and ensuring the continuation of their protective functions benefiting over 80,000 Kenyan households.
- Continued mega fence project in Mt. Kenya. Built an additional 10 kilometres of comprehensive fence as well as 28 km of low fence with outriggers along the main fence in the Imenti Forest to mitigate fence damages by elephants.
- Forest protection has been a key priority for Rhino Ark. To this end, the conservation charity strengthened community forest patrols. This was required to help mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19-induced budget cuts affecting law enforcement by our government partners. The community forest patrols in Eburu, Aberdare and South Western Mau forests have been instrumental in tackling illegal logging of indigenous trees, charcoal making, as well as the cultivation of illicit crop, such as marijuana. Their work helped secure vital mountain forests and protect the diverse and endangered wildlife therein.
- Embarked onto an extensive fundraising programme and submitted 19 applications for funding. Through these, secured KES 46 million.
- Early this year, Rhino Ark signed a funding agreement with IFAD and other partners for the Mt Kenya Fence amounting to KES 267 million. This includes the construction of 60 km of comprehensive fence; three energizer houses; 20 gates; four elephant grids; and two years of maintenance.
Mr. Kamau said the conservation of forests in Mau Eburu, Mt Kenya and the Aberdare ranges had been boosted by the Rhino Charge funding of KES1.6 billion and that the positive conservation impacts on the ground are remarkable.
Prof. Segor noted that the fencing of forests had contributed greatly to mitigating human wildlife conflicts, especially in hotspot areas. “As a government, we support public-private partnerships.”