Cycling from Ngong to Coast for marine life awareness

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 00:00 |
Sea4Life Trust co-founders Julie Church and Lizzie Ground at a Nairobi hotel. PD/Harriet James

Cycling enthusiasts and sponsored teams are gearing up for a great bike challenge dubbed Cycle4Seas. The seven-day off-road cycling expedition begins Sunday August 25 in Ngong Hillls to end on Sunday August 31 in Watamu.

The event aims at grabbing global attention for Kenyan waterways and seas environments.  It also plans to raise funds to conserve marine protected areas and help build the country’s burgeoning blue economy.

Cycle4Seas is the inaugural fundraising event for a new and dedicated Kenya marine conservation non-profit, Seas4Life Trust.  Briefing the press at Tamarind Tree Hotel, Sea4Life co-founder, Julie Church said they want to bring attention to the pollution in the rivers that flow from Nairobi to the sea. 

For instance, Mbagathi River, which passes through southern Nairobi, leads into Athi River, becoming the Galana and entering the ocean just north of Malindi town as the Sabaki River. 

The sources of these rivers are the forests in the Aberdares and Ngong hills and in the past, they used to deliver clean water, feeding the people, wildlife and other ecosystems en route. 

Today, these rivers are heavily polluted with sewage,  including chemicals, plastics and steel,  among others. All the garbage and toxic waste negatively impacts on wildlife and people en route to the sea. “The sewage is finally dumped on coral reefs, mangrove swamps, sea grass beds and open oceans, harming marine life,” she said.

Cyclists and their supporters will tackle the challenge of pedalling the 680km route starting at the foothills of Ngong Hills via Kajiado county, with its abundant wildlife and Maasai villages.  From Selengai gate, the bikers route cuts through the wilderness of Amboseli, across the Tsavo National Park along the Sabaki River to Watamu by the sea. 

The first two nights of the trip will see bush camping accommodation for the bikers. Hotel partners include Ocean Sports Resort Watamu,Taita Hills Sarova Salt Lick, Ziwani Voyager Camp Tsavo West, Sopa Lodge Amboseli, Selenkay Campsite, Voi Wildlife Lodge and Kulalu Camp, Galana.

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