Mt. KIlimanjaro in Tanzania, view from the air. Credit: Charles J Sharp, CC
As a fan of Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro, my ears perked when I heard Kenna, a Grammy-nominated musician and philanthropist, organized Summit on the Summit: Kilimanjaro -- an expedition to raise awareness of the global clean water crisis. He invited environmental activists and some famous friends -- actresses Jessica Biel, Isabel Lucas, and Singer Lupe Fiasco -- along for the trek and will depart for Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro in January 2010. Hear from Kenna, and find out how you can take part virtually -- after the jump.
Kenna Takes on the Water Crisis
Kenna was inspired to take action by his father -- who was affected by a water-borne illness as a child in Ethiopia. He speaks to his action plan, below.
We are 'actionists' who are going to assimilate and enlighten the world on a human rights issue that is long overdue for attention. My father suffered for over 10 years of his life with water-borne diseases while his friends and family died around him. It's over 60 years later and we are living in a world where over a billion people are without clean and safe drinking water; it is unacceptable. My friends and I are taking a risk climbing Kili to stand at one of the highest points in the world and make the statement that we can stop the Global Clean Water Crisis if we take action now. Help us send water and save lives.
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro Virtually
In addition to utilizing Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, the first phase of the Summit on the Summit: Kilimanjaro interactive website is up. Once the second phase of the website launches, audiences will hear updates from climbers -- which include environmental activists Alexandra Cousteau, explorer and granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau; Elizabeth Gore, executive director global partnerships for the United Nations Foundation; Simon Isaacs, international development and water expert, and Kick Kennedy, granddaughter of Robert Kennedy. The website will also feature videos on water related issues and accept donations for the project. Funds raised will benefit the Children's Safe Drinking Water Program, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and PlayPumps International.