The Rhino Charge 2018 held on Saturday (June 2nd) in Elangata Enterit Enkutoto, Narok County, raised an incredible KES 181,401,055. This beat last year’s figure of KES 153 million by adding another KES 28 million to secure a new all-time record. Prizes were awarded at a colourful ceremony held at the Charge venue today and attended by, among others, the KWS Ag. Director General Julius Kimani and the KFS Ag. Chief Conservator of Forests Monica Kalenda.
The highest fundraiser was Peter Kinyua (Car 23) who raised KES 24,770,681. This is the highest ever figure raised by an individual competitor in one year since the Rhino Charge was established in 1989. In second and third positions are Alan McKittrick (Car 5) with KES 21,030,381, and Adil Khawaja of Car 44 (AK44) with KES 16,217,000.
The overall winners – teams who visited the 13 control points in the shortest distance – are: 1) Mark Glen of Car 48; 2) Sean Avery of Car 38 (Team Bundufundi); and 3) Alan McKittrick of Car 5.
The Landowners’ Access Fee totalling KES 4.5 million was raised from entry fees charged on all vehicles entering the venue. The funds will go to community projects to be run by a local committee with oversight from Rhino Ark.
Speaking at Prize-giving, Monica Kalenda, KFS Ag. Chief Conservator of Forests, noted the conservation achievements made by fencing the Aberdares, Mount Kenya and Mount Eburu. She highlighted that the fences have transformed the life of the forest-adjacent communities who previously were heavily affected by human-wildlife conflicts. She also noted that the Kenya Forest Service is ready to work closely with partners and invited the entire Rhino Charge fraternity to join the Kenya Forest Service in their efforts to increase the forest cover in the country to 10% as stipulated in the Constitution.
Reflecting upon the 30 Anniversary of the Rhino Charge, Julius Kimani, KWS Ag. Director General expressed his amazement by the journey traveled so far and the changes that have taken place since the humble beginning of the first Rhino Charge in 1989.
Christian Lambrechts, Executive Director of Rhino Ark, highlighted Rhino Ark’s achievements over the past 30 years which are the demonstration of what can be done when people come together with determination:
- Over 620 kilometres of electric fence have been completed;
- Some 80,000 households are now benefiting from the protective functions of the fences Rhino Ark has built so far. They can now live in peace and in harmony with the forest and its wildlife.
- Periodic surveillance flights are conducted above Mount Kenya, the Aberdares, and South Western Mau, enabling Rhino Ark and its partners to detect illegal activities and mount joint operations;
- Conservation curricula have been developed and implemented in the 32 primary and secondary schools surrounding Mount Eburu. These curricula provide a model for the Government towards establishing a national conservation curriculum for all levels of education;
- Two wildlife corridors have been established, one linking Aberdares to Kipipiri Hill and the other one on private land connecting Eburu Forest to Lake Naivasha. In the Eburu-Lake Naivasha corridor, the construction of the first wildlife overpass in Kenya is in the planning stage;
- A third wildlife corridor connecting the two mountains of Central Kenya, Aberdares and Mt. Kenya, is progressing well;
- Science has now been brought at the centre of Rhino Ark operations. Together with partners, Rhino Ark recently undertook the most extensive elephant censuses and forest health surveys ever undertaken on Mount Kenya, the Aberdares and the entire Mau Forests Complex. Rhino Ark plans to repeat those surveys every three years to keep under review the state of these forests and the wildlife therein.