NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 14 – As you climb the steep slopes of Mt Longonot, the stunning views of the Great Rift Valley unfold below. The mountain’s huge crater is an amazing sight.
The Capital Group team was here on Saturday in partnership with Twende Magazine for a mountain climbing exercise aimed to clean up the once fiery volcano.
The exercise is part of the Green Generation Campaign that aims to plant 10 million trees by 2010 and heighten awareness on environmental conservation.
Capital Group General Manager Cyrus Kamau says this is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to greening the country.
“We are saying ‘let’s keep the environment clean’ and that is why we are collecting all the garbage up this mountain,” he says.
The trek to this mountain is about nine kilometres. A path runs from the Mt Longonot National Park entrance up to the edge of the crater and coils its way up to the top. But climbing this huge mountain is no easy task as those who undertook the challenge will confess.
“I could taste my blood, that’s how dry I was,” says Soulo, the presenter of the popular ‘Hits Not Homework’ show.
“I have been working with the environment for at least 15 years and it was good fun dragging Eve (Senior Presenter) up because she really suffered,” says Phillip a Capital FM listener who had joined in the exercise.
Eve De Souza described it as “torture but worth it,” while Programmes Director Seanice Kacungira had almost despaired before reaching the peak: “but then again you cant come all this way, suffer through all this dust, and not get to the top!”
“It’s challenging but once you’ve done it you like it,” said Danny, a Capital FM Producer.
It can take anything from one and half hours depending on one’s pace to climb to the top of Mt Longonot.
Twende Magazine Editor Thomas Maneno terms it as an exciting experience especially because it was for a good cause- to conserve nature and keep the environment clean.
“Principally we came to collect garbage and I am surprised it is not as much as we thought it would be which I think means that someone is doing some work here,” he said.
“Climbing has been very physical but if we do not keep our environment clean, we are not going to enjoy it and tourism is going to collapse,” he added.
Seanice Kacungira and Eve De Souza had a message to Kenyans.
“It’s not someone else’s problem, it’s yours so do your bit,” says Seanice
“It’s a simple thing to do-climbing Mt Longonot, picking up some trash, planting trees; it’s something all of us can do we are not asking for much,” Eve adds.
Although not an easy task, climbing Mt Longonot, which was the second phase of the campaign after a tree planting event at Karura forest last week, helped in creating awareness on the need to conserve and protect our natural environment.
The Green Generation Campaign comes at a time when Kenya is in dire need of environmental education, awareness and conservation efforts.
In its third phase, the campaign will head down to the Coast to clean up the beaches on September 19, and the exercise will be led by Environment Minister John Michuki.