Climb for Clean Water - Celebrities Hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

1.15.2010
by satu

Summit on Summit Mt. KilimanjaroCelebrity charity efforts can be easy to disregard merely as publicity stunts, but you have to give credit for Kenna, Jessica Biel and Emile Hirsch for their latest effort to raise awareness for clean water in Africa. On tuesday, the group of musicians and actors, accompanied by a team of scientists and activists (including Alexandra Cousteau, Jacques Cousteau's granddaughter) reached the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro after a 6-day hike and 19,340-foot elevation gain. While climbing Kili, Africa's highest peak and one of Tanzania's main travel destinations is not considered an experts-only trek with an approximate success rate of 75%, it most certainly is a challenging one. The celebrity group reached the Kilimanjaro peak without serious complications, but encountered harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow, strong winds and even hail.

The central organizer of the expedition, titled Summit on the Summit, was rapper Kenna, who has a personal commitment for the issue of clean water, as his father growing up in Ethiopia lost a brother and close friend to illness caused by contaminated water. Kenna himself was born in Africa, but moved to the U.S. at the age of 3. He unsuccessfully attempted the Kili climb 5 years ago. His long-time efforts for fighting for clean water awareness are commendable, as the clean water crisis is far from being over.

The Water Crisis: Millions of Africans without Clean Water

Travel safety advice about visiting Africa or other third world destinations without fail warn the traveler of contaminated tap water, and advise the traveler to drink bottled water only. As travelers, we have the privilege to buy bottled water on our African adventures or independent travels, but millions of Africans living in abject poverty lack access to a clean water source, and are forced to drink water containing pollutants and bacteria.

Did you know that..

  • 884 million or one in eight people worldwide do not have access to clean water supplies
  • 98% of all deaths relatd to water are in the developing world
  • Every 15 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease
  • Millions of women and children spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources.
  • An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than an average person living in a developing country uses in a whole day

Read more about the water crises on Water.org

Do You Have What it Takes to Peak Mt Kilimanjaro?

If Hollywood celebrities can do it, you can do it, right? Jessica Biel and the gang had no doubt top-notch equipment and months of training before taking on the hike, but trekking Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro can also be done by first-time hikers in relatively good shape, along with the experienced climber. Truly a life-changing adventure, climbing Kili, "the rooftop of Africa," should be on top of the list when you're planning to travel to Africa. There are several routes to choose from with breathtaking scenery ranging from rain forests to dry plateus, not to mention the ultimate reward: the view from the summit.

Support local communities in Tanzania Adhering to our mission of sustainable and green travel, Global Basecamps' partners in Tanzania travel are local guides who are intimately familiar with the region's culture and ecosystem. Preserving local customs and providing economic support for locals is our priority, and Tanzania itineraries booked thorugh us directly benefit local primary schools and orphanages and support micro-financing for local women’s cooperatives.

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