The following article is the press release from Safarilink the new corporate sponsor of Colobus Trust. We at the trust would like to thank Safarilink for all there support and look forward to an amazing relationship. It is always inspiring when a company of this magnitude cares enough about the local environment and organizations dedicated to protecting it.
SafariLink Helps Protect Diani’s Primates
Nairobi, Kenya xx August 2009 – As part of its ongoing corporate social responsibility programme, SafariLink, Kenya’s premier safari airline, has announced that it will donate $2 to the Diani Beach based Colobus Trust for each passenger it flies into or out of the Diani airstrip. In addition it has sponsored the purchase of a ‘tuk-tuk’ which will be used by the Trust to collect tourists from their hotels and take them to their headquarters where they will be able to learn about the Coast ecosystem and the work of the Trust. The airline, which commenced daily flights to Diani on the 1st July 2009, has taken the decision to assist the Trust which runs the primate conservation and rescue centre on the south coast of Kenya.
The Colobus Trust was founded in Diani in 1997, initially to come up with a way to prevent the high number of monkey ‘road kills’ on Diani Road. Today, the Trust has expanded to become a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre, focusing on primates, with both Kenyan staff and international volunteers. The Colobus Trust also helps to educate local schoolchildren, gives guided eco-tours and provides a rehabilitation programme for monkeys that have been kept illegally as pets.
“The rapid growth in tourism infrastructure and growing human population in the area has had a significant negative impact on the remnants of a once large and rich coastal forest ecosystem and hence a decline in the primate population,’ said John Buckley, Managing Director, SafariLink Aviation. “For more than ten years the Colobus Trust has been dedicated to the conservation and welfare of primates living in the Diani area. SafariLink, as a socially responsible company, is therefore happy to help the Trust in order to help safeguard the environment for the remaining primates and hopefully thereby stop the decline in their numbers.”
In support of the donation, Raymond Matiba, Chairman of The Colobus Trust said, “75% of the Trusts core revenue comes from tourism. But sadly the Kenya Coast has suffered a decline in tourists in recent years and hence our income from visitors to the Trust has decreased. We are therefore particularly delighted that SafariLink have made this very generous donation to the Trust and their pledge of long term financial support will help us plan for the future.”
“In addition, the introduction of the SafariLink daily flights to Diani is in itself a very positive move which we believe will result in an increase in tourists as well as being beneficial to the residents in the area,” added Matiba.
SafariLink is involved in other socially responsible initiatives that include an indigenous tree planting exercise on the foothills of Mount Kenya National Reserve in conjunction with the Bill Woodley Mount Kenya Trust. This project aims to compensate for the carbon-dioxide emissions from their aircraft and hence minimize the company’s operational impact on the environment. Additionally the company has an agreement with the Lewa Conservancy, www.lewa.org, whereby approximately 5% of the cost of each ticket to Lewa is donated to help their conservation research. In addition, SafariLink assist the Safi Lamu group who are tidying up Lamu and provide flights for the charity Medical & Educational Aid to Kenya, www.meak.org, to help them reach disadvantaged persons in remote areas who need medical attention for heart and eye conditions.
SafariLink is a Kenyan company established in 2004. Based in the ALS Building, Wilson Airport, SafariLink offers a network of scheduled services that cover the main ‘safari’ tourist destinations of Amboseli, Tsavo, Chyulus, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Lewa Downs, Samburu, Loisaba, Shaba, Masai Mara, Kiwayu and Lamu in Kenya and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. In addition, SafariLink can provide you with charter flight within Kenya and throughout East Africa. SafariLink currently operates a fleet of Cessna Caravans, a Let 410 and Dash 8.
About The Colobus Trust
The Colobus Trust is a conservation organization designed to promote the conservation, preservation and protection of primates like the rare Angolan Colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis palliatus) and its coastal forest habitat in southern Kenya. The Trust was established in 1997 in response to an outcry from local residents about the high number of deaths of the Colobus in the Diani area. Now the Trust has numerous projects concerning the wildlife and the citizens of Kenya, including animal welfare, biological/ecological research, community development and education, forest protection and enrichment and eco-tourism awareness programs.