- Phuthego has so far climbed Mts Kilimanjaro and Elbrus
- Plans to climb 5 more mountains around the world
Maun native, 46-year-old Simmon Phuthego has dedicated his enthusiasm for mountain climbing to promote human wildlife co-existence and assisting victims as well as development of marginalised communities.
Through his newly formed Simmon Phuthego Non-Governmental Organization, Phuthego who has already climbed two of the highest mountains in the world told The Weekender that he intends to climb the remaining 5 highest mountains in the world to raise funds and awareness for human wild life-conflict victims within the KAZA region.
“As I climb the mountains I will at the same time seek funding from various international organisations and partnerships towards assisting the victims as well as achieving my dream to climb the seven highest mountains in the world,” Phuthego explained.
Phuthego has already climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania which is Africa’s highest peak at 5895 meters in 2014 and Mount Elbrus in Russia which is Europe’s highest peak at 5642 meters in 2018.
His remaining five summits include Mount Aconcagua in central Argentina with a peak of 6962 meters, Denali found in Alaska with a 5500 meter peak, Mount Everest in Asia with a peak of 8850, Vinson Massif found in Antarctica with a peak range of 4892 meters, Mount Kosciuszko found in Sydeny Australia with a peak of 2228 meters and Mount Carstensz which is also found in Australia at a peak of 4884 meters.
“Another initiative that is on the cards which is also mandated to raising funds towards assisting the victims is an annual co-existence bush walk within the KAZA region,” he added.
He noted that the proceeds of the inaugural bush walk which is anticipated to be held in Maun around August will go towards buying prosthetic arms and a washing machine for two victims, a mother and daughter who lost their arms from a crocodile attack in 2020.
Phuthego indicated that the walk will be extended to other KAZA regions among them Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe to assist victims and human wildlife conflict mitigations on their respective countries.
“The bush walk which will be named The KAZA Co-existence Charity bush walk will cover a distance of 30km in the Boro area and its proceeds will be used towards assisting different victims annually,” Phuthego revealed.
He added that his organisation will also assists victims as per their need as well as mental support to the victims and their immediate families or people they live with. Phuthego has since noted that they are yet to establish partnerships with various stakeholders among them Afro-Botho to provide psychological support to the victims and their immediate families and Okavango Research Institute to mobilize their initiative.
“We are also yet to engage KAZA TFCA to assist on bringing the KAZA countries on board about the walk,” Phuthego noted. He has since called on various stakeholders to join hands in mitigating human wildlife conflict and assisting victims.