A slightly disturbing report in the Daily News today. Tanzania’s Minister for foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Bernard Membe, says that it is not good enough that ‘only’ 2000 Tanzanians and 50,000 foreigners climbed #Kilimanjaro last year. Mr Membe, apparently, wants there to be ten times that number!
That’s madness, isn’t it? While recognising what an important earner of foreign currency the mountain is to the country, (tourism is one of the most important business sectors, earning around 16% of total GDP, and when it comes to National Parks Kilimanjaro is the second biggest earner behind the Serengeti).
But surely Mr Membe would recognise the environmental degradation that already goes on, and how much more severe it would be if there were ten times the number of climbers on the mountain – and how much less attractive it would be to future climbers if this increase in climber numbers were allowed to happen. It also seems to fly in the face of what the park authorities, KINAPA, are trying to do.
Let’s hope the minister fails to get his way before he leaves his post next year! #climbkilimanjaro