- 200 days and 165 to go
- 27000 kms to date
- 17 countries with 16 still to come
- millions of tyre revolutions & potholes
- 100’s of campfires and river crossings
- buckets of sweat, loads of adventure
- and tens of thousands of lives already saved and improved through this world first humanitarian expedition
The Land Rover supported South African humanitarian expedition that is tracking the outside edge of Africa through 33 countries has now reached Dakar in Senegal. The expedition is linked to a One Net One Life campaign in which thousands of long lasting World Health Organisation approved mosquito nets are being distributed to pregnant mothers and to children under the age of five, a Right to Sight programme in which spectacles are given to the poor sighted and a Teaching on the Edge programme, handing out mobile libraries and writing materials to remote schools.
In the Cassamance area of Senegal mosquito nets were distributed to small groups of mothers and to a primary school in the wetlands near Cap Skiring. Using expedition inflatable boats and a massive pirogue approximately 1 500 mosquito nets were carried to the island of Bassoul and a net given out to every mother and child in the five communities that make up the island.
In Dakar at a media function attended by the head of the malaria control programme and ministry of health officials we handed over a symbolic bale of nets to the local hospital. Ministry of health officials endorsed the Scroll of Peace and Goodwill in support of malaria prevention which has also been endorsed by Nobel Prize laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.
The South African embassies that we have had contact with along the outside edge of Africa have been incredibly supportive of the expedition. Lovely Thembi Majola, Ambassador to Senegal, Cape Verde, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau and The Gambia and her competent staff members Derrick Williams and Andre Jacobs, have been exceptionally kind and helpful with the ambassador writing these words in the expedition journal:
To my fellow compatriots. Your epic journey along the West Coast of Africa to bring awareness and to physically distribute treated mosquito nets to expectant mothers and mothers with babies up to five years is clearly a noble act…
A very personal experience that has touched many people in a most direct, personal life saving way. I salute this noble expedition and want to express my deep respect and pride in the humanitarian work you are achieving at a great deal of personal cost. I wish you Godspeed on your journey, and am proud that you fly the South African flag, representing South African resilience, a caring spirit and a will to succeed. Hambani kahle!
The Outside Edge expedition is also carrying a scroll from South African National Parks with a message encouraging a conservation partnership with its neighbours in Africa. With it they have sent three stones to be taken by the expedition Land Rovers to the three corners of the continent where we will collect stones to be placed at Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of Africa. And so at a ceremony facilitated by the South African Embassy in Dakar a stone was placed and another picked up at Les Almadirs, the most westerly point of Africa.
From Dakar the expedition will continue North up the beach to St Louis, the oldest French settlement in West Africa and until 1958 the French capital of Senegal and Mauritania, where with the assistance of the ministry of health, more life saving mosquito nets will be distributed in the vicinity of the Senegal River.
Many thanks for your support in caring for the people of Africa – we will keep you posted.