UNDP Tanzania conquers Kilimanjaro in support of the fight against HIV/AIDSAug 30, 2016
Dar Es Salaam – Eight staff members from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tanzania recently participated in the 2016 GGM Kilimanjaro Challenge Expedition with the aim of raising funds and awareness to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic across the country. The Kilimanjaro Challenge, now in its 15th year, has supported over thirty NGOs countrywide to, inter alia, build orphanages, schools, clinics, counselling centers, advocacy and has contributed to the reduction of HIV infections from 13% in 2002 to less than 5% today.
UNDP, in collaboration with the Tanzanian Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) and Geita Gold Mine (GGM), raised over $500,000 for various projects that will help tackle HIV/AIDS throughout Tanzania and will also contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular SDG 3 which aspires to ensure health and well-being for all, including a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS by 2030. In Tanzania, it is estimated that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS is 1.4 million with 700,000 children under eighteen years old left orphaned by the disease.
The expedition of fifty-eight climbers was seen off at the Machame gate by former Tanzanian President Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, who commended them saying “your devotion sends a message of care and love for those affected by, and living with HIV and AIDS in Tanzania”.
The 2016 Kilimanjaro Challenge was also joined by the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Saidi Meck Sadiki and several charity ambassadors including local poet and singer, Mrisho Mpoto and former international rugby stars Nathan Hines, Mornay Visser and Ross Rennie. The UNDP staff members involved in the climb were Gertrude Lyatuu, Vincent Mweta, Aaron Cunningham, Nasser Ngenzi, Fidelis Luteganya, Happiness Paul, Victoria Lihiru and Elia John.
The 7-day/6-night climb was ably lead by chief guide Mr. Faustine Chombo who ensured that over 90% of the expedition climbers summited to Uhuru Peak, which, at 5895 metres, is the highest point in Africa.