An online petition has been launched to protest the potential building of a cable car on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Last month, Tanzania’s deputy minister for tourism Constantine Kanyasu announced plans to install a cable car on Africa’s highest mountain, as a strategy to attract more visitors and boost tourism numbers.
The cable car would be aimed primarily at facilitating visits among older tourists, who may not be physically fit enough to climb the mountain which, at its peak, stands 5,895 meters tall.
But the reaction has been swift, with at least one online petition pointing out the economic impact to local porters who rely on tourist activity for their income.
It’s estimated that 50,000 tourists climb the mountain every year.
“The introduction of a cable car on the mountain, that would no longer require the assistance of porters, would destroy this source of income,” writes Mark Gale, who launched the petition on Change.org.
Gale also points out that the oldest person to hike Kilimanjaro was 86 years old and says that the mountain is well within the capabilities of “older” visitors.
“I climbed last month at 53 years old and it was an amazing experience putting one foot in front of the other and living on the mountain, there is no thrill in taking a taxi to the top of a mountain.”
The government is currently conducting feasibility studies on the environmental and economic impact of a cable car.