(Posted 02nd June 2022)
|Final preparation for this year’s Rhino Charge is complete as the inspection of competing cars closes at dusk in the scenic landscape of Mosiro in Kajiado County. |
The competitor cars’ official inspection process known as ‘scrutineering’ being conducted from 8:30am to 5:00pm is proceeding smoothly ahead of the actual race tomorrow morning. Later after the scrutineering is done, Don White, the Chairman of the Rhino Charge Committee and Clerk of the Course, will preside over the drivers’ briefing where he will provide important information to competitors, including route maps.
Then at the crack of dawn tomorrow, a total of 54 cars out of a maximum of 65 potential Charge cars will be racing across the rugged terrain of Mosiro on the western side of the Rift Valley.
The Rhino Charge is not only a world renowned 4×4 off-road competition, but also, it is one of the few sport events run with a national conservation purpose. It is conducted to support the safeguarding of the integrity and ecological functions of Kenya’s mountain forests, also known as water towers, as they are the source of all main rivers in the country.
Indeed, since its conception in 1989, the Rhino Charge has raised a staggering amount of over KES 1.7 billion towards the conservation of Mount Kenya, the Aberdares and Mount Eburu in the Mau Forests Complex. Whilst the first Rhino Charge raised only KES 250,000, this amount has increased tremendously over the years to cross the KES 180 million mark in 2018, thanks to supporters locally and internationally. Although the COVID 19 has been a setback in the last two years, the event is recovering fast and hope to sustain the previous momentum.
The Rhino Charge annually raises funds for the conservation activities implemented by Rhino Ark. As a conservation organisation, Rhino Ark is deeply sensitive to minimising any adverse environmental impact that could derive from its operations. This extends to the unique Rhino Charge motorsport event.
To prevent any significant damage to the venue environment, the duration of the competition is limited to 10 hours and only 65 competition cars may participate in the event. The Rhino Charge is also organised each year in a different location to avoid cumulative impact from consecutive events.
One of the main environmental challenges of organising an event with between 2,500 and 3,000 officials, participants and spectators in the most remote wilderness areas of Kenya is the management of waste. In keeping with Rhino Ark’s conservation mission, the Rhino Charge Committee is dedicated to leaving each venue as they found it. To this end, stringent rules have been set by the Committee to ensure that no refuse is left anywhere in the entire Rhino Charge venue. This includes a system of fines that is strictly implemented to address refuse generated by competitors and spectators. In addition, a team of waste collectors equipped with two pick-up vehicles inspect all the camps daily and collect all the refuse generated. To promote refuse recycling, a Waste Sorting Station is set up at the venue. Glass, cans, tins, and plastic bottles, among others, are separated and brought back to Nairobi for recycling.
Furthermore, Rhino Ark has committed to make the Rhino Charge climate neutral, namely to offset the CO2 emissions related to the event by purchasing corresponding amounts of carbon credits on the market. Rhino Ark purchased offsets to compensate for the CO2 emissions from the last Rhino Charge held in 2019. The offsets came from a project implemented in the Chyullu Hills aiming at reducing deforestation and land degradation.
Key dates for 2022 Rhino Charge:
• Today, Thursday, June 2, 2022 : (inspection of competitor cars to ensure compliance with the rules of the Charge), sealing of Distance Measuring Device (DMD) units, drivers’ briefing and issuance of competition maps
• Friday, June 3, 2022: The Rhino Charge
• Saturday, June 4, 2022: Prize-giving I, announcement of funds raised and main competition awards
• Saturday, July 2, 2022: Spirit of the Charge Event in Nairobi, Prize-giving II, announcement of additional awards and entries for next Rhino Charge.
Kindly note that general information about the Rhino Charge is available online on the Rhino Charge website www.rhinocharge.co.ke and https://rhinocharge.co.ke/ufaqs/
The digital channels of the Rhino Charge and Rhino Ark are: