New Steps for the Environment on Kilimanjaro
Although this is not climbing related, it does affect Kilimanjaro and much of Tanzania, allowing future generations to use the mountain. The government of Tanzania has taken new radical steps to help preserve Africa’s highest mountain and the countryside.
First: No more illegal or legal logging on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Each year, millions of acres are being logged off the mountain. Recently, I was riding a mountain bike on the northern side of Kilimanjaro and it was being heavily logged. This deforestation – in addition to a myriad of factors – is one of the reasons for the glaciers melting. According to scientists, these glaciers are suppose to be gone in less than 20 years. If the glaciers disappear, there are millions of people that won’t have the water they need to survive.
Second: The Tanzanian government has finally banned synthetic plastics bags. These bags, which do not decompose, are littering streams, villages and many beautiful places. The problem, there is no place for people to recycle them, and there is no garbage dump. Therefore, you will arrive in once beautiful villages and see plastic bags everywhere.
These new laws are wonderful. The question is, can – and will they – they enforce it? Read Tanzanian environment measures tighten up.
For mountain climbers on Kilimanjaro, you can do the following:
-Make sure your group doesn’t use firewood on the mountain for cooking.
-Make sure the porters haul food in baskets instead of synthetic plastic bags.
-Help educate about people about the problems with deforestation.
-Don’t support or buy any of the carvings they sell.