Sustainability

WasteAid launches Kenyan virtual safari

The UK waste management charity WasteAid will launch a virtual safari into the Kenyan wilderness for Earth Day (22 April) to raise funds for waste collectors in Kenya.

An image of Zebras
Image: Jill Matthews

Journeying across Lion King country in the wide open landscapes of southern Kenya, visitors can take part in ten home-based challenges from baking a lion cake to building the fiercest volcano, or learning about Maasai culture and prehistoric discoveries.

Circling Lake Naivasha in Kenya, where WasteAid is working with local partners to improve waste collection and recycling, the 75-kilometre route is equivalent to 10 lots of 10,000 steps, or 10 sessions of 100 minutes of exercise.

The virtual safari will run from Earth Day (22 April) to World Environment Day (5 June). Whilst it is free to join, those partaking are invited to give-as-they-feel or get sponsored to complete the entire safari. The money raised will go to waste collectors around Lake Naivasha who are suffering from poverty and disease.

Commenting on how the money raised will support communities in Lake Naivasha in Kenya, Zoë Lenkiewicz, Head of Programmes and Engagement at WasteAid, said: “We wanted to create something for people to escape into and enjoy, while raising money for our urgent appeal Waste Collectors Rock!

“The communities around Lake Naivasha, especially those working with waste, are in poverty and vulnerable to disease – yet at the same time they are surrounded by all this incredible wildlife. We thought it would be fun to support waste collectors in places like this, by sharing the beauty and wonder of the environment they work so hard to protect.”

In the light of the fact the vast majority of people are staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the virtual safari offers a change of scene and a chance to get creative through the virtual experience of travelling to the Kenyan wilderness. At the end of the safari, the five challenges with the most shares on social media will receive a prize from the WasteAid gift shop.

Dave Leeke, IT Manager at WasteAid, said: “The virtual safari is an interactive experience, so you can track yourself in real-time as you make your way around the lake. Once you’re registered at safari.wasteaid.org, you can log your exercise and track your progress using Google maps and streetview. Share your challenge photos and videos on social media using #VirtualSafari, and invite other family members to join in from home.”

Whilst the 2020 annual walk for WasteAid has been cancelled, WasteAid is continuing its work during the pandemic to assist those working with waste, who are often among the poorest in society with no access to protective clothing, disinfectant or running water. Fundraising focus is now on supporting waste collectors in lower-income countries through the coronavirus pandemic, in this appeal called Waste Collectors Rock!

WasteAid also published its Covid-19 safety guidance for lower-income countries on 31 March, which stands alongside the WasteAid Toolkit which concerns community waste management.

You can take part in WasteAid’s virtual safari on the charity’s website.