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Safaricom donates Ksh 15M to Rhino Charge conservation

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The Rhino Charge, an event supporting the Rhino Ark Kenya Charitable Trust’s environmental conservation initiatives, received a significant boost on Tuesday with a Ksh 15 million donation from Safaricom PLC.

The funds will support Car No. 44 (AK44), led by long-time participant Adil Khawaja and his team of four.

Khawaja has been a dedicated participant in the event for over 20 years.

In addition to the Ksh 15 million sponsorship, Safaricom will provide network connectivity at key areas of the event.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa stated, “We are delighted to sponsor the Rhino Charge, an initiative dedicated to conserving our endangered ecosystems. Sustainability is a core value at Safaricom, and our support for this event underscores our commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable development.”

Last year, the event at the Nkoteyia Community Conservancy set a fundraising record of Ksh 173 million.

Car No. 44 (AK44), led by Khawaja, emerged as the top fundraiser with an impressive total of Ksh 60 million.

This year’s competition will be held on Madaraka Day, June 1st, in Kajiado County, attracting a field of 58 cars.

Among the competitors are last year’s winners, Team 48, led by Mark Glen, aiming to defend their title.

Christian Lambrechts, Executive Director of Rhino Ark, expressed gratitude for Safaricom’s continued support, highlighting the strategic partnership aimed at supporting critical ecosystems.

“Rhino Charge is one of the most spectacular and extreme 4×4 events, bringing together Kenyans for conservation. Preparations are going well, and we are ready to host the event,” Lambrechts said.

To date, Safaricom has contributed over Ksh 200 million to the Rhino Charge initiative.

Since its inception in 1989, the Rhino Charge has raised nearly Ksh 2.1 billion for the conservation of Kenya’s mountain forests, which are crucial as water towers.

This annual off-road 4×4 competition in Kenya raises funds for the Rhino Ark Kenya Charitable Trust, which is dedicated to conserving and protecting Kenya’s mountain range ecosystems.

The trust also engages and educates nearby communities on conservation and sustainability initiatives, secures connectivity between mountain forests and other threatened wildlife habitats, and establishes sustainable financing mechanisms for conservation.

Projects funded with the proceeds include the world’s longest game-proof fences, such as the ongoing construction of the 450 km Mount Kenya Electric Fence, with 300 km completed to date.

The funds have also been used in the maintenance of the completed 400-km Aberdare Electric Fence and 43.3 km perimeter electric fence around Mount Eburu, as well as for the ongoing construction for the fencing of Kakamega Forest in Western Kenya.

This year’s Rhino Charge events are scheduled as follows:

  • Friday, 31st May: Scrutineering (inspection of competing cars)
  • Saturday, 1st June: Rhino Charge
  • Sunday, 2nd June: Prize-giving

The organisation of the Rhino Charge is supported through in-kind contributions from the private sector, including some of Kenya’s largest corporations, such as Total Energies, Safaricom, AutoXpress, Tarpo, White Cap, Castor Vali, Rotor Jet Aviation, Z Boskovic Air Charters, Sandstorm, Mantech Inflight Systems, Aquamist, The Iceman, Tropical Heat, Papyrus, Northscape, Rivercross Tracking Ltd, Instarect, Chloride Exide, Bins, to name a few.

Their contribution has enabled the reduction of the cost of the event to less than 15 per cent of the total funds raised.

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