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Baringo Rhino charge raises Sh140m

By Caroline Chebet | July 18th 2021

 Tourism and Wildlife Principal Secretary Fred Segor presents a trophy to Team Bundu Fundi during the 32nd edition of Rhino Charge at Sabor in Baringo County yesterday. A total of 44 participants took part in the competition which raises for conservation. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Rhino Charge, the annual off-road charity motorsport event that targets to raise funds for forest conservation, has raised over Sh140 million, surpassing its target.

The charge, a fundraising event for Rhino Ark, took place at Sabor in Kimalel, Baringo County over the weekend.

The competition saw the highest fundraisers who participated in the sport raise Sh36 million. In 2019, Sh23 million was raised.

The event failed to take place in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kenya Forest Service chief conservator of forests Julius Kamau hailed the event for enabling the fencing of the critical water towers for over 30 years.

“The 400-kilometre-fence in Aberdare is probably among the longest electric fences in the world. It has played a key role in conserving the endangered mountain bongos,” Kimani said.

He said that the conservation of Eburu, Mt Kenya and the Aberdares, has greatly improved as a result of the funding.

He also noted that the ecological services from the fenced forests are valued at Sh412 billion.

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, who flagged off the event on Saturday, lauded the participants noting that their contributions had immensely helped in conserving the forests.

"Besides the fun part of the sport, these competitors have gone an extra mile to raise funds towards the conservation of critical ecosystems. This means a lot, not only to us but also to future generations," Gideon said.

He commended volunteering partners and sponsors for ensuring that the event is held.

Rhino Charge Committee Chairperson, Don Williams, said despite the impact of Covid-19, the amount raised was commendable.

"Fundraising during the pandemic period has not been easy but the participants and sponsors made it possible to surpass the target. Since 1989, Sh1.6 billion has been raised," Williams said, adding that the funds had also been used in supporting educational projects.

In the competition, Bundu Fundi team in Car 38 emerged the 2021 overall winners having covered all the 13 control points within the shortest distance of 37.43 kilometres.

Car 33 driven by Jeremy Holley emerged second having covered 37.92 kilometres while Mark Glen, who emerged the winner in 2019, was the third.

Car 23, driven by Kenya Forest Chairman Peter Kinyua, raised Sh36 million, the highest, followed by Car 44 that raised Sh21 million.

Winners of Victor Ludorum, an award that takes into consideration both the charge distance and funds raised, was won by Car 5 driven by Graham Mckittrick, followed by Car 48 driven by Mark Glen.

Under Unmodified Class, Car 9 driven by John Bowden was the winner while Bush Babes of Car 19 topped as the only women’s team.

This year, only 44 out of 65 vehicles that usually compete made it to the charge due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Kinyua said besides the fun, the funds raised have greatly boosted the conservation efforts. “It is all about having fun while raising funds for a worthy cause.” 

Wildlife Permanent Secretary Fred Segor said the conservation of the forests has also helped in stemming human-wildlife conflicts, especially in Mt Kenya forest. “As a government, we support public-private partnerships.” 

Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis said the charge is part of the events held within the county that showcases the beautiful sceneries.

The country is also on the roadmap of being made a UNESCO Geopark as geosites are being marked currently.

The community where the charge took place will benefit from the Sh5 million raised as part of the land rate fees.


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