Wednesday, June 18, 2014
GEITA GOLD MINE EXPEDITION AGAINST HIV/AIDS 2014 WITH ZARA TANZANIA ADVENTURES
The government has recommended her people to step up the efforts to raise resources locally through various initiatives such as ‘GeitaGold Mine Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS’ the expedition that has been guided by the ZARA Tanzania Adventures for a more than a decade.
The Geita Gold Mine (GGM) Mt Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS has now reaches 13 years since its establishment in 2001; with the aims of raising money which are used in the joining government’s efforts in the combating of HIV/AIDS pandemic through government and local initiatives such as NGOs, CBOs.
Addressing the trekkers and other Kilimanjaro government officials during the ‘flag-off’ Ceremony of Geita Gold Mine (GGM) Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS 2014 held at Machame gate Yesterday, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu explained that, to date, the fight against HIV/AIDS is mainly dependent on foreign funding adding that, we have to step up the efforts to raise resources locally, through various initiatives such as Geita Gold Kilimanjaro Challenge; while we appreciate the assistance from our friends outside the country.
“The only promise worthy in Mt Kilimanjaro climbing experience is to emulate his examples, review our behavior so that we prevent new infections and ensure life without HIV/AIDS is possible in Tanzania and Africa in general…” Mr. Nyalandu explained in his speech.
Speaking on HIV/AIDS situation in Tanzania, the Minister explained that, over 30 years of the HIV/AIDS in Tanzania, emphasis has been placed on the development of strategies and approaches to scale up the interventions and deal with the scourge.
“Despite all the efforts, number of people infected continues to grow as it is estimated that around 2.2 million people in Tanzania are living with the virus…..” Mr. Nyalandu further explained.
The Minister however recommended the role played by the GGM in collaboration with ZARA Tanzania Adventures for the appliance of the obliging expedition adding that, the government through his Ministry will continue to support them.
“Apart from playing a big role in the community as a Corporate Social responsibility under GGM in collaboration with ZARA Tours Company and other stakeholders, the expedition also promotes the sustainability of local and international tourism particularly Mt. Kilimanjaro climbing…” he added.
Mt. Kilimanjaro makes a total of more than 30% of the total revenues from tourism industry in Tanzania insisting that, more efforts is needed to ensure its sustainability including protection and conservation.
“Few days ago I was in France with some stakeholders discussing tourism situation in Tanzania among many others, and I was very happy to hear good news about one of the tour operators in Tanzania called Zainab Ansell from ZARA Tours Company from this region who most of the tourism groups have being climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro using different routes through Zara Tours; one of them told me that “We always come because of Zara Tours” he explain more and say what I can only comment is that, the woman have done a very laudable work in the country’s tourism industry” he explained.
For his part, the Managing Director of the Geita Gold Mine Mr. Michael Van Anen explained that, in this year’s expedition a total of include 33 trekkers from GGM participated, where by 23 of them are Tanzanians; while the other 10 are foreign nationals from Colombia, Australia, Zimbabwe and South Africa under the leadership of Captain Clement Msalangi from GGM.
“The GGM Kilimanjaro Expedition against HIV/AIDS 2014 also includes the two orphaned children from Moyo wa Huruma Center which is located at Geita township in the newly Geita region. They are Jacob Musa (13), and his sister Julitha Sylivester (12), all the standard five pupils of Mbugani Primary school.” He further explained.
For her part, the Managing Director of the ZARA Tanzania Adventures Ms. Zainab Ansell explained that, she is very happy that her company has participated fully to join the GGM’s community initiative supporting government’s efforts in the combating of HIV/AIDS through that initiative as the pandemic affects all the people socially, economically, and politically regardless their race and color.
“As you heard, ZARA Tanzania Adventures Company has been the key guide of the climb for all trekkers of the Geita Gold Mine Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS for 13 years now, to join our fellows’ vision to combat HIV/AIDS in Tanzania…” she explained.
This year’s expedition is guided by the Mt. Kilimanjaro Professional tour Guides from ZARA Tanzania Adventures under the leadership of Chief Guide Faustine Chombo and Theophil Karia.
The Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS initiative was officiated by the President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, who first kicked-off in 2002 involving 47 climbers and managed to raise 62 Mil/-. It is this humble beginning and modest success that encouraged Geita Gold Mine to make the climb an annual event for a national cause. Since then an average of 40 to 50 climbers joined the challenge’s expedition each year. To date, more than 500 individuals across the globe have participated in the climb and raised more than 2Billion shillings which have benefited over 30 NGO countrywide to fight against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania.
The Kilimanjaro challenge aims to raise awareness on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, provide financial support to HIV/AIDS initiative and build national team spirit in this noble fight. The initiative aligns the challenge with existing government HIV/AIDS initiatives and programmes while giving local climbers opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. In the past 11 years many people have participated in the climb.
The youngest being 11-year old boy and oldest at 84 years our own retired President, H.E. Mzee Ali Hassan Mwinyi. The determination shown by Mzee Mwinyi was epic. According to the Prime Minister, Hon. Mizengo K. Pinda he equated this to ‘Mbiu ya Mgambo’ (a calling drum to war).
It is reported that Tanzania’s prevalence rate has gone down from over 13% in 2000 to 7.8% by 2007 and as low as 5.1% today. As part of MDGs and national efforts to increase awareness on HIV/AIDS, His Excellency President Jakaya Kikwete launched the national voluntary HIV/AIDS testing campaign. Geita Gold Mine using the umbrella of Kilimanjaro Challenge counts this as a success as the initiative has also played a role in pioneering this awareness on the pandemic and look forward for the day when Tanzania will be declared Zero HIV infection.
About ZARA TOURS
ZARA TOURS, founded in 1987, is currently the No. 1 Kilimanjaro outfitter in Tanzania and one of the largest safari operators in the country. ZARA TOURS owns and operates two hotels and three tented camps, and looking to open two new camps later this Year. Has 88 safari and climbing expert guides who speak English, German and Spanish, and a fleet of fully-equipped vehicles that take tourists on safari adventures or treks up Mt. Kilimanjaro. ZARA TOURS is proud to be known as one of the best operators in the region with a reputation for providing an exceptional, unforgettable and safe experience.
Director of Zara Tours (Zainab Ansell) with the minister of Natural resource and Tourism (Mr Lazaro Nyalandu) during the ‘flag-off’ Ceremony of Geita Gold Mine (GGM) Kilimanjaro Challenge against HIV/AIDS 2014 held at Machame gate.