Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the fourth highest mountain in the world. Standing at 19,341 feet, it stands tall and proud, watching over Tanzania and providing an array of resources. This majestic mountain, thought to be dormant, is a source of cultural heritage and contains a wealth of natural resources that are essential to both tribal and international communities.
For Tanzania, both near and far-reaching communities rely on the resources of Kilimanjaro. To start, the mountain range provides fresh and clean drinking water for the entire region spanning from the slopes, to the base of the mountain. The health of the population is improved with the fresh water and reliable supply that is provided through the Kilimanjaro area.
Aside from creating access to clean water, Mount Kilimanjaro is a well-conserved ecosystem filled with wildlife and habitats for species native to Africa. The mountainous terrain and vegetation of the region have served as a safe haven for native species. International tourists flock to Kilimanjaro to spot wild animals in their natural habitats and are an integral part of the mountain’s economy. The tourism industry provided by Mount Kilimanjaro not only produces jobs and income but creates a need for efficient waste management to ensure resources are not damaged or misused.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a cornerstone of Africa’s natural resources but it is also provides other economic advantages. The range of Kilimanjaro serves as a reliable source of minerals including gold, silver and pyrite. Tribes near the mountain are able to use these minerals to provide goods, goods and services to both local and global markets. These communities not only benefit from the natural resources present but can increase their overall quality of life by taking advantage of the minerals present.
Lastly, the mountain is home to a number of cultural sites that provide fuel for religious and traditional practices that help communities to stay connected to their beliefs. The resources offered by Mount Kilimanjaro serve to bring people together, unite the local culture and provide a space of contemplation and connection to the divine.
Impact of resource sustainability
The local population of Mount Kilimanjaro depend on the ecological resources of the mountain, making the sustainability of these resources fundamental. If a community does not have access to clean and safe water, it can have a detrimental impact on public health and limit opportunities for growth and development. Communities confined to the mountain are particularly vulnerable as access to fresh water can be limited to only a few sources.
Having access to reliable sources of fresh water is of great importance when living on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Sustainable practices have been implemented in the area, such as water filtration methods and conservation efforts, to ensure the local population does not lose access to these resources. Sustainable use is essential to ensure resources are not misused and to ensure that locals are not left without access to crucial elements.
Alongside water, maintaining the sustainability of minerals present in the area is also of great importance. With few nearby sources, tribes and communities of Kilimanjaro heavily rely on the resources provided by the mountain. Sustainable practices seek to make the most of these resources, creating the right balance between modern development and the preservation of natural habitats.
Environmental and health benefits
For the communities that rely on Kilimanjaro, environmental and health benefits are found in the protection of habitats and of the resources that come from the mountain. Aside from providing access to fresh and clean water, the area is filled with dense jungles and forests that improve air quality. This has enabled numerous plant and animals species to call the mountain their home and reduces the health risks of humans and other animals.
The wildlife and vegetation of Kilimanjaro not only provides oxygen but also stores solar energy, reducing global warming and, in turn, creates a cooler climate for the locals. Resources such as the forests provide shade and temperature control from air pollution, heat waves and droughts.
In addition, the forests and jungles of Kilimanjaro provide natural medicines that are used by the local population to create home remedies. Mass production of medicines would depend heavily on the sustainability of these resources, thus, locals must strive to remain conscious of conservation efforts in order to benefit from the natural medicines presented in their environment.
Conservation efforts take place both locally and globally when it comes to Mount Kilimanjaro. Locally, Tanzania has put in place a variety of mitigation measures in order to protect the resources found in its ecosystems. This includes conservation of natural resources, water management, sustainable use and agricultural land use. All of these efforts aim to reduce strain on the mountain’s resources and to ensure that future generations have access to them.
Alongside these measures are global efforts such as the World Bank’s Integrated Water Resources Management Program. These measures focus on the management of resources in the Kilimanjaro area and are used to improve access to safe and reliable sources of water for the local population.
Tourism is also a great asset when it comes to conservation efforts in the region. Tourism can increase awareness and help generate funds needed for conservation projects. It can also create jobs and increase the education of local populations into the importance of preserving the mountain’s resources. This in return can create a culture of environmental consciousness that can be spread further than just the local area.
Effects of Climate Change
Mount Kilimanjaro is visited by streams of international tourists every year, making it one of the most iconic natural landmarks in Africa. However, due to effects of climate change causes rising temperatures that can have an adverse effect on the resources of the mountain. As temperatures go up, the glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro have been melting, leaving the local communities at risk of water shortages.
The local communities have seen direct effects of climate change and are at risk of losing access to the water supply. In order to mitigate this, local organisations and global aid organisations have come together in order to ensure water supply for all those dependent on Kilimanjaro.
Although this is one of the greatest risks of climate change, communities around the mountain have responded with great resilience. Traditional techniques are often used in situations of water shortages, such as the collection of freshwater from areas of higher elevation. This has helped communities remain resilient in the face of an ever-changing climate, allowing them to remain connected to their natural resources.
The resources of Mount Kilimanjaro are essential for the survival of not only local communities but for many international ones as well. Not only does the mountain provide access to vital minerals and fresh water, but it also serves as a great source of wildlife and habitats vital for the preservation of species.
The sustainable management and mitigation of resources found on the mountain are of primary importance, both locally and globally. Mitigation measures and the implementation of efficient and effective conservation practices, the resources of Mount Kilimanjaro can be preserved for future generations.