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Record amount raised in Lewa

NAIROBI, September 10 – A record Sh31 million was raised during this year’s Safaricom marathon held at the Lewa Conservancy.

Ten percent of the proceeds from the event which was held in July, will be donated to the Kenya Red Cross Society to assist those who were internally displaced following post-election unrest.

Other beneficiaries of the marathon will include health, education, conservation and community development projects in and around Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

“These funds could never have been raised had it not been for the contribution of all the individuals and corporates who came, took part and help fundraise either as sponsors or participants. I would like to thank everybody for their tremendous efforts,” said Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph at a media briefing on Wednesday.

Joseph observed that the marathon serves as the ultimate test of endurance and a great personal achievement for any athlete.

“Participating in the marathon is one of the most extraordinary events that one can ever take part in. It is a thrill running in the beautiful open savannah with long reaching views and sharing the running route with giraffes, zebras and elephants,” he said.

Huawei technologies contributed Sh6.9 million of the funds raised, while Safaricom Lions of Lewa raised Sh5 million.

The conservancy’s director Jonathan Moss highlighted the importance of the unique sporting event.

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“The satisfaction of taking part in the Marathon for many participants lies in the fact that they are running for a good cause,” said Moss.

Project manager Sarah Watson of Tusk Trust who organize the marathon said that praised the effort that was put in to raise the amount.

“In what started out as a difficult year for this was a fantastic achievement, in fact we raised 50 percent more than we did last year,” said Watson.

“Because funds are still being set in we are to allocate grants to specific projects. We have asked projects to submit proposals and we will be considering which will receive funds in the coming weeks,” she added.

Over 60,000 people from thirteen communities have benefited from the Safaricom marathon which has raised Sh.600 million since its inception in 2000.

The funds have been used to establish infrastructure and other economic support systems to support these communities.

Apart from the Lewa Conservancy, the marathon also supports two wildlife conservation projects in Northern Kenya. It also provides support to the monitoring and the sustaining of the endangered Grevy Zebra.

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