Rhino Charge cancelled for first time in 31 years
The Rhino Charge Committee and the Rhino Ark Board of Directors have cancelled this year’s Rhino Charge, scheduled for October 19, for the first time in the 31-year history of the event because of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated risks.
In a statement, the board said yesterday that the next Rhino Charge will be held on Sunday, 30 May next year.
“This decision has been taken with great regret,” said Christian Lambrechts, Executive Director of Rhino Ark.
“Funds raised by the Charge provide a vital part of our annual budget and our work, which is so critical for the conservation of Kenya’s mountain forests and water towers. It is essential that our work continues without interruption,” he added.
Lambrechts said the Rhino Chargers have been remarkable benefactors for Rhino Ark over the years, adding that they have invested over Sh1.6 billion in conservation and have also helped build 650 kms of electric fence.”
The fences, he said, protect 80,000 families from the dangers of human-wildlife conflict in the Aberdares, Mount Kenya and Mau Eburu and added that they also protect critical mountain forests that are the water towers of Kenya.
Lambrechts said the forests are the source of major rivers that provide water to Nairobi, adding that apart from being the lifeline of key conservation and tourism areas downstream, the rivers support livelihoods of millions of Kenyans in the rural areas.
“Keeping our fences well maintained and fully operational is critical for the communities farming at the forest edge, the conservation of these vital ecosystems and for securing the ecological services they provide in support of our well-being and our economic development,” he said.