Nature Discovery opposes the planned Kilimanjaro Cable Car Project. Here is why:
The Tanzanian government is planning a new cable car project in order to double the number of climbers on Mount Kilimanjaro. However, the impact on the environment and communities could be irreversible.
The Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators (TATO), along with other Kilimanjaro trekking operators are banding together to oppose this project.
“We say no to this project because of its irreversible impacts,” explains Sirili Akko, the CEO of TATO. “Tourists are climbing Kilimanjaro to challenge their physical abilities. Facilitating the climb makes no sense. Tour operators, who have decades of experience, are worried because the government is not well advised on the cable car project. We will not make any compromise that would hinder the future of this African wealth.”
Every year, around 50,000 climbers attempt to ascend Kilimanjaro. They are drawn to the mountain to challenge their physical abilities.
The ascent to the summit requires the human body to take time to adapt in order to avoid mountain sickness. Zooming up to such a high altitude on a cable car in such a short period of time can be dangerous.
Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society (MKPS) opposes the cable car product outright, saying it will deny employment to nearly 250,000 unskilled porters scaling up Mount Kilimanjaro for a wage each year. “Much as the cable car service doesn’t require porters, the majority of tourists will climb Mount Kilimanjaro on a day trip basis using the new product to cut down costs and length of stay,” MKPS Vice Chairman Edson Mpemba explained.
Thousands of porters, cooks, and guides earn a living to support themselves and their families. Introducing a cable car on the mountain would mean that they would no longer be required. It would obliterate their source of income, making the lives of those who depend on this work even harder than today.
In a recent article, African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA) extended their support for TATO quest to put a stop to the proposed Cape Car project. “ATTA promotes and encourages sustainable tourism which is in harmony with nature and the landscape as well as with the culture of the local people. This project achieves quite the reverse and we believe will have an irreparable impact on this iconic world heritage site,” the article said.
The cable car contradicts the country’s conservation policy as it will encourage mass tourism and could become a major threat to the ecology of Kilimanjaro. The cable car is to be installed along the Machame Route, also known as the Whiskey Route, because it is steep and challenging, but also because it offers scenic views. However, this route is an irreplaceable bird migratory route, and installing a cable car here could affect the migration of birds.
Mark Gale started a petition on Change.org in order to get a reaction from Constantine Kanyasu, the Tanzanian Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism.
If you want to make a difference and try to save Tanzania’s national treasure, please consider signing the petition or sending us your letters addressed to:
Hon. Dr. Damas D. Ndumbaro
Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism
Wizara ya Maliasili na Utalii,
Barabara ya Waziri Mkuu,
S. L. P 1351,
Many have been received from tour companies all over the world already.