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Message from the Governor, Meru County

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

I want to heartily congratulate all the winners of the inaugural Mount Kenya Running Championship. The win should increase your confidence and determination to conquer the world in mountain running. Indeed, everyone who participated in the Run is a winner. As I have said before, the event is not only about medals and trophies; it is about the well-being of the people

of Meru. It is about nurturing local youth talents, defeating cancer, promoting mountain tourism and enhancing environmental conservation.

Meru County is endowed with beautiful natural resources, including Mt. Kenya, which is the

highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa. These resources have for a long time remained unutilized, especially from the Meru side, despite the fact that over 40% of the mountain

sits in Meru County. Our plan as a Government is to open up Mount Kenya to mountain tourism for

the benefit of the people of Meru County. This is the main reason why we came up with the championship.

Apart from promotion of Mt. Kenya mountain tourism and development of local sporting talents, the championship shall be seeking to create awareness for cancer care and prevention. As you all know, Meru

County is among the leading counties with cancer cases.

An estimated 1,633 new cancer cases occurred between 2015 and 2016, and this number increases each year. This is unacceptable.

A number of initiatives have been launched to fight cancer in our communities, but we have not made significant strides towards arresting this situation.

A number of initiatives have been launched to fight cancer in our communities, but we have not made significant strides towards arresting this situation.

We have created a Meru County Cancer Institute to improve prevention and early detection of cancer, as well as the quality of life following diagnosis and treatment.

Most of the proceeds from the Run will go towards supporting the cancer institute. Another equally pressing issue needing our immediate attention as a County is climate change, which has impacted negatively on the livelihoods of the people of Meru County.

Meru County is primarily an agricultural county.

Due to erratic rainfall, we have experienced crop failure and drying up of rivers, occasioning acute water shortage in downstream areas. We have to conserve and protect our wildlife and environment for our benefit and that of the generations to come.

Part of the proceeds of this Championship will be applied to support conservation efforts by the local community organizations in Buuri Constituency.

We are working with the Lewa Conservancy to establish a community Mountain Bongo and Rhino sanctuary in the Marania forest.

Finally, the 2020 Mount Kenya Running Championship is just the first. We intend to make this event an annual event.

I am glad that the event has been included in the annual calendar of Athletics Kenya. We hope that the event will grow into a reputable world class mountain running championship.

I call upon all persons of goodwill to partner with us.

H.E. Kiraitu Murungi, EGH

Governor, Meru County

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