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Rhino Charge 2010 raises Sh 72.5 Million
Date Published: 07 Jun, 2010
Sir Charles Njonjo displays the Sh72.5million cheque raised during the Rhino Charge event whose proceeds go towards maintenance of the 400Km fence around the Aberdare Conservation Area. With him from his left is Mr. Colin Church, Chairman of the Rhino Ark Management Committee and Mr. Robert Njue, Assistant Director, Mountain Conservation Area.
The twenty second edition of Rhino Charge was held on May 31 2010 at the Londuroj Hills, Magadi, Kajiado District. The annual two day off-road motor sport event saw a total of 63 teams participate.
The event raised a record Sh72.5 million, beating the 2007 record of Sh68 million and setting a record of raising the highest amount of funds for any Rhino Charge event.
The money raised during the Charge will go towards maintenance of the now completed 400Km long fence around the Aberdare Conservation area including the Forest Reserve and National Park spearheaded by the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the forest edge communities .
Speaking at the prize giving ceremony, the Guest of Honour and Rhino Ark Patron, Mr. Charles Njonjo, praised the initiative and called on the Government to recognize and assist in the work being done for conserving the environment.
“The Rhino Ark foundation and other likeminded partners have demonstrated their unswerving commitment over the years as far as environmental conservation is concerned,” he said. He further congratulated the Rhino Charge management committee for a job well done.
The Chairman of the Rhino Ark Management Committee, Mr Colin Church, who chaired the event, reiterated that the Rhino Charge event has been for a worthy cause and has been pivotal over the years in raising the necessary funds for the conservation of Aberdare ecosystem.
The Rhino Charge event has over the years set the stage for Environmental and Wildlife Management. A representative from the Shompole group ranch further acknowledged all the participants, partners and sponsors who have continued to be part of the annual cause.
“By holding this year’s Rhino Charge event here will not only open up our District but will also set the pace as far as promoting tourism and environmental conservation is concerned,” he said.
The Charge was won by Team Bundu Fundi (Sean Avery) in Car no.38 while second place went to three-time Rhino Charge winner and rally ace Ian Duncan (KTM Cruisers) in Car no.2.
Other winners included Alan McKittrick’s team, which won the most prestigious Victor Ludorum trophy - shortest distance to the highest money raised for one car at Sh10.6 million.
The coveted Michael Werikhe perpetual trophy donated by the East African Wildlife Society and selected by the Rhino Charge Committee was awarded to Karui 91 Self Help group, Ngobit Valley, Aberdares. The group has so far managed to plant over 25,000 indigenous trees inside the Aberdare fence.
The Shompole and Olkeri group ranches are also set to benefit from Sh2.8 million which the foundation collected as fees paid to them by all entrants to the venue. The funds would go towards community development projects.
Rhino Charge has been held in Kenya since 1989. The event over the years led to the creation of the Rhino Ark foundation which is currently the principal tool used for raising funds for these conservation efforts.
The Rhino Ark foundation in conjunction with KWS, Kenya Forestry Service and other likeminded partners recently marked the end of a 21 years partnership after the successful completion of the 400 Km Aberdares fence. The longest conservation fence project in the world, estimated to have costed about Sh750 million, was officially commissioned by President Mwai Kibaki in March this year.
The 70 km long Aberdares mountain range, located in Central Kenya, is a complex, bio-diverse ecosystem that encompasses over 2,000 square kilometres of national park and forest reserve.
This rich habitat is home to numerous species of plants and wildlife that include black rhino, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and the rare, highly endangered mountain bongo antelope.
The Aberdares are one of the key water catchment areas of Kenya, providing headwaters of four of Kenya’s seven major rivers.