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Support the movement to treat Kilimanjaro Porters fairly with Water-to-Go

Water-to-Go have teamed up with Three Peaks Africa; a responsible travel business that offers expeditions to Tanzania’s highest peaks; Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and Mount Longido. This is the ultimate adventure challenge brought to you deep from the African Savannah and is a significant milestone on many bucket lists. Three Peaks Africa are currently working on a new crowdfunding project for a real cause that is close to their hearts. They are seeking help and support from many different partners and sponsors so we wanted to raise awareness about this great cause.

On average over 35,000 travellers a year climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime experience where they spend months, even years saving, researching the right kit and training for the opportunity to reach the roof of Africa. Once they are back down and at home, they will smile and remember their friends, motivators and biggest supporters on the mountain, the Kilimanjaro porters.  As many of you may know, it takes a whole host of porters and other mountain crew to support the climbing team. The porters carry all of the team’s food, equipment, set up the camps, sing and keep everyone motivated and safe.

In the excitement of preparing and being on the trip, we can sometimes forget that not everyone on the mountain is always as fortunate as us when it comes to health and safety and workers’ rights. In 2018 it is still estimated that 3 out of 4 porters may be paid less than a proper wage, not being fed 3 meals a day and sleeping in inadequate quarters. Based on minimum wage and tipping amounts, on a typical 6 day Kilimanjaro climb, a porter could expect to be paid the equivalent of US $1,090 a year.  That’s just £825 to support their entire family. As a result, there is sometimes huge pressure for them to accept work at less than minimum wage and sub-standard working conditions; just so that they can earn some sort of living.

Three Peaks Africa are committed to supporting ethical and responsible travel initiatives, partnering only with local operators and companies who align with them ethically in ensuring that their practices have a tangible benefit to the local community, economy and environment.

The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) is a not-for-profit based in Tanzania. It is a tiny organisation working on a limited budget that has been working hard to improve porters working standards, and raise awareness to travellers about responsible travel choices.  Their work on the ground has already impacted over 7,000 porters, however there is still a long way to go. Marie Cheng, founder of responsible travel business for Three Peaks Africa, began working closely with KPAP when sourcing local Tanzanian climbing companies to operate her Three Peaks expeditions. She says,

“It was really important to me to run my Three Peaks trips with a responsible and ethical provider. The porters do so much for us, it is only right that they should be treated properly on the mountain”.

Marie Cheng, Founder of responsible travel business at Three Peaks Africa

Three Peaks Africa are now crowdfunding for the Kilimanjaro Porters, to increase the essential funding for KPAP and to increase the awareness of what they are doing to improve porters working standards. The money raised will be spent on the “Clothes Lending Programme” allowing all porters to borrow mountain gear, free of charge as well as on monitoring activities for the “Partner for Responsible Travel Programme” that determines if climbing companies are meeting proper porter treatment standards.  Funding will also go to help reinstate training programmes such as First Aid and Leave No Trace environmental sustainability that will benefit 175 porters.

Porters are Tanzanians who work freelance and often depend on tourism on the mountain for their livelihood.  We have an overwhelming collective responsibility to make sure that they aren't being exploited.

Three Peaks Africa support this by ensuring that they partner only with local operators in Tanzania who are partners with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), a Tanzanian not-for-profit organisation who monitor the treatment of porters by sending staff on climbs, conducting porter interviews and meeting regularly with operators to review their treatment practices.  As well as ensuring that operators adhere to the good porter treatment guidelines, KPAP also focus on improving working conditions for porters through a number of initiatives.

Ezekiel, a porter with a KPAP company says “KPAP and the partner companies have worked together to drive improvements in working conditions for us.  It has really helped me and my family. I can now take my kids to school as I was able to save money because I am paid properly”.

To support Three Peaks Africa, KPAP and their commitment to making a big change to the treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro, visit their page and pledge before the 9 August: http://chuffed.org/project/kilimanjaroporters

Any donations of £100 or more also goes into a prize draw to win the opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro in 2019.

With a big focus on responsible travel, Three Peaks Africa are actively encouraging and highlighting the collective responsibility that we as travellers have on local communities and the environment. Water-to-Go are pleased to be working with responsible and sustainable tourism organisations such as Three Peaks Africa who are working to protect the environment and to change lives. By highlighting to their clients the impact that single-use plastic water bottles have on the environment, they hope to do their bit in helping to reduce plastic waste.

Keeping hydrated on the mountain is even more essential for these avid trekkers and it is important that the expedition team has access to clean and safe drinking water.  Using the Water-to-Go filtration system, this eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source.

By helping Three Peaks Africa to reduce plastic waste with Water-to-Go bottles, Water-to-Go will also support Three Peaks Africa in their crowdfunding campaign.

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