Home Sports Rally Victory and Valor: Rhino Charge 2024 shatters fundraising records

Victory and Valor: Rhino Charge 2024 shatters fundraising records

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This year’s Rhino Charge, held on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at the picturesque Torosei in Kajiado County, raised an astounding Ksh 325 million for conservation efforts.

The 2024 Rhino Charge saw Graham McKittrick (Car 5) clinch the overall victory, moving up from last year’s third position.

Following closely behind was Sean Avery in Bundu Fundi (Car 38), who maintained his position from the previous year. In third place was Car 33, also known as Team Huzi, entered by Jeremy Holley.

This year, 54 out of a potential 65 competitors participated, an increase from last year’s 52, showcasing growing support and participation.

On Sunday, a vibrant prize-giving ceremony took place at the Charge venue, graced by Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya, representing President William Ruto.

Secretary Tuya commended the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust for its conservation achievements in protecting and restoring Kenya’s water towers.

She also applauded the fundraising efforts of Rhino Charge competitors and sponsors over the past 35 years.

Underlining the government’s commitment to conservation, CS Tuya highlighted the significant reduction in forest crimes through initiatives like the recruitment of a record 2,700 forest rangers.

Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku, Kenya Wildlife Service Director General Erustus Kanga, Kenya Forest Service Chief Conservator Alex Lemarkoko, Kenya’s UNEP Permanent Representative nominee Amb. Gertrude Angote, and Elijah Muli from the Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board were also among the attendees.

Governor Lenku remarked on the challenges faced by wildlife over the years, stating, “Wildlife many years ago roamed freely from the Mara all the way to Tsavo through Amboseli. Most wildlife corridors and dispersal areas have, however, been encroached.”

He added that the Maa economic block is currently discussing ways to support and encourage communities to reopen wildlife corridors, attributing the blockages to increasing human population and development.

Governor Lenku also highlighted the long-standing issue of human-wildlife conflict, suggesting, “the community has suffered long from human-wildlife conflicts, and as such, KWS should consider having a ranger post in the area.”

Lemarkoko assured that the KFS would continue to ensure that the country’s natural resources are well managed.

He emphasized, “The Rhino Charge has had positive impacts over the years in protecting and conserving the country’s natural resources such as water towers and forests.”

He cited the proceeds of the event as crucial in fencing off some of the critical water towers, which have been seriously degraded and are now regenerating, noting Eburu Forest as a success story.

Kanga praised the charge for helping protect ecosystems that host wildlife, stating, “Mount Kenya is fully fenced, and South Western Mau and Kakamega are also being fenced.”

He confirmed that KWS has continued to support the Rhino Charge over the years.

Rhino Ark Executive Director Christian Lambrechts expressed gratitude for the increasing involvement of private companies, such as Safaricom, which has contributed Ksh 282 million to date towards the charity’s conservation work, and government agencies like the Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board in the conservation cause.

The local Torosei community received Ksh 8.4 million for hosting the event, along with an additional donation of Ksh 2 million from President Ruto through CS Tuya.

These funds will support community projects, especially the construction of classrooms at Torosei Secondary School.

The highlight of the fundraising efforts was Adil Khawaja’s remarkable achievement.

His car, AK44, secured the highest individual fundraising amount for the second consecutive year, with an impressive Ksh 175,100,595, surpassing his previous record.

Safaricom Chairman and Car 44 driver Adil Khawaja secured the highest individual fundraising amount for the second consecutive year, with an impressive Ksh 175,100,595

Peter Kinyua and his car, No. 23, secured the second position, followed by Car 62, entered by Stanley Kinyanjui. Looking ahead, Khawaja emphasized the importance of mentoring young environmental protection enthusiasts to ensure the sustainability of conservation efforts.

The Victor Ludorum award, recognizing both distance covered and funds raised, was claimed by Adil Khawaja’s AK44, followed by Peter Kinyua’s Car No. 23 and Tim Carstens’ Aussie Rules in Car 63.

In the Modified Class Category, Peter Francombe’s ‘Roving Rogues’ Car 40 emerged victorious, followed by James Boorman’s Car 57 – Team 57, with Adil Khawaja’s Car 44 – AK44 securing third position.

John Bowden’s Car No. 9 (Gumtree 4×4) maintained its dominance in the Unmodified Class for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Mark Tilbury’s Car No. 35 (Hog Charge Team) and Nicholas Foley’s Car 4 – ‘Foley Charger’.

Additionally, the new Half-Charge category saw Car 17, Pumba Patrol by Rishi Chauhan, emerge as the overall winner, followed by Car 58 – Batuk 58 entered by Luke Symonds.

In the Tiger Line 1 category, Car 22 – Smiling Shenzis – entered by Gray Cullen claimed the top spot, with Car No. 5 (Team 5) driven by Graham McKittrick securing second place, and Car No. 33 by Jeremy Holley (Team Huzi) coming in third.

For Tiger Line 2, Mark Glen’s Car 48 – Team 48 secured the top position, followed by Asit Patel with Car No. 26 in second place, and Car 6 – Team Ole Choda entered by Manee Choda in third.

The Gauntlet award recognized Ravi Patel’s Car 11 – Frying Squad as the winner, followed by Jaspal Matharu’s Car 24 – Fat Rhinos in second place and Sean Avery’s Car 38 – Bundu Fundi in third.

Finally, in the overall Super Modified Class, Team 5 entered by Graham McKittrick in Car No. 5 claimed the top spot, followed by Sean Avery’s Bundu Fundi (Car 38) and Car 33 aka Team Huzi entered by Jeremy Holley.

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