(PRWEB) February 3, 2005
The magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro is in danger of becoming a large human toilet. As one of the highest walkable summits on earth, it is a magnet for adventurers Â near 25,000 people visits its challenging slopes each year.
Unfortunately, the environmental impact is now clearly visible along the trails leading to the summit. In an attempt to lessen the pressure on Kilimanjaro, the leading outfitter, F&S Kiliwarrior, is the first company to adopt a Âpack outÂ policy for human waste.
The problems are serious:
- Pit latrines have been placed at most camp sites. These are wooden structures with squat holes designed to provide a degree of privacy. Unfortunately, the number of visitors overwhelms these latrines at many camps.
- Climbers are not accustomed to squat holes. As a result, these latrines are often filthy with waste ending up on the floors instead of in the holes. Most climbers are turned off by these dirty, foul-smelling, and ice-cold latrines. Under the cover of darkness, many find it easier to find privacy behind a rock or bush. The results are clearly visible along the popular trails and in the camping areas.
- Some latrines are in disrepair, putting more pressure on nearby latrines where lines of climbers and porters often form after dinner and in the early morning hours. Those in severe discomfort are forced to look for a bush or rock.
- Along the trails, while trekking, clients are told to dig small holes when they need to go to the bathroom. Some are told to take matches and burn the toilet paper. Many forest fires around the world started when hikers tried to burn waste. Besides, most climbers don't want to bother with this. They secretly bury the paper with the waste, then kick some dirt over it and move on.
- To provide more comfort for their clients, many outfitters nowadays set up private toilets. These are mostly lightweight seating structures over shallow holes behind private canvas setups. But decomposition in alpine areas is extremely slow, worsening the impact of improperly disposed waste. Even an orange peel left behind will require many years to fully decompose.
Starting in early 2005, the F&S Kiliwarrior mountain teams will empty their portable toilet holding tanks in specially designed containers called ÂClean Mountain Cans (CMCs) ÂÂ. Porters will then carry these containers to approved disposal areas.
ÂWith increasing numbers of climbers on Kilimanjaro every year, digging more latrine toilets cannot be the best answer. Buried waste will eventually enter the underground water reservoirs and severely impact the ecosystems lower down the mountain. Even with more pit latrines, climbers and porters will continue to search for privacy in nature. The ultimate solution may well call for trekkers and porters to bag their waste and carry it back down with them. As this will be tough on most trekkers, F&S Kiliwarrior porters are paid extra incentives to take care of this on behalf of our clients. I am happy to say that our mountain teams have embraced this challenge with typical Kiliwarrior enthusiasm,Â said Eben Schoeman, Managing Partner, F&S Kiliwarrior.
According to the National Park Service at Denali National Park and Reserve, ÂThe Clean Mountain Can (CMC) is designed to hold 1.86 gallons of human waste and has a U.S. Department of Transportation approved two-way vent to release gases through the screw down lid. The #2 polyethylene container is cylindrical in shape, measuring 11.75 inches tall and 8.2 inches in diameter. The can is sturdy enough to be sat on when in use, and the unit comes with a disposable foam ring that works as a seat. In five testing trials, a CMC was filled three-quarters full with solid ice and dropped four feet onto concrete at an outdoor temperature of zero degrees Fahrenheit. The CMC is designed to have its contents dumped directly out and then rinsed for final cleaning. The durable CMC comes with a harness system that can lock the lid down and is sturdy enough to strap on a pack or sled. The CMC capacity is 10 to 14 uses (approximately one-half pound per use) depending on whether toilet paper is placed in the can."
Clean Mountain Can (CMC) is a registered trademark of GTS, Inc.
For additional information, contact: Eben Schoeman (contact information below)
About F&S Kiliwarrior
F&S Kiliwarrior (http://www.go-kili.com) is a Tanzania-based company (worldwide sales office in the USA) known for its uncompromising focus on Care, Service and Excellence. Treks are exclusively designed for couples, single climbers, families, and small groups of friends.
Kiliwarrior 4-season tents are the best on Kilimanjaro. Provided are hot showers, portable toilets, a choice of meals, bottled water when needed and portable mattresses. Kiliwarrior guides are experienced and certified in the 80-hour Wilderness First Responder course to deal with altitude emergencies. F&S Kiliwarrior uses modern safety equipment such as emergency oxygen, pulse-oximeters, portable altitude chambers, and is the first company to climb with AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators). All clients are enrolled in the Flying Doctors program - for evacuation by air to the best hospitals.
F&S Kiliwarrior has very strict porter policies and is the clear leader in eco-friendly climbs Â the first company to introduce special technology to carry out all garbage (including human waste).
Falls Church, VA USA
T: +1 703 827-5785
F: +1 702 446-4447
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