MTN Uganda has launched the 12th edition of the annual Kampala Marathon, this time round with a mission to rally runners to raise funds for the implementation of innovative climate resilient, environmentally smart bio-toilet technology in a number of selected primary schools in Kampala.
Unveiling this year’s edition at a launch event held at Police Children’s School Nsambya on 27th October 2015, MTN’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Gouldie urged the public to register for the MTN Kampala Marathon and run for a noble cause under the theme aptly dubbed- ‘Run for Kampala’.
Gouldie noted that the participation of runners in this year’s marathon will go a long way in mobilising funds not only for the implementation of bio-toilet technology in selected schools around the five divisions of Kampala, but also geared towards improving access to sustainable sanitation and safe water for the vulnerable urban poor communities in Kampala, with a specific emphasis on the health and safety of children.
The announcement follows the 2014 MTN Kampala Marathon which attracted over 20,000 participants, and in which MTN Uganda and its partners including Huawei Uganda, New Vision, Stanbic Bank, Uganda Athletic Federation (UAF) and Rwenzori Water raised over the sh450 million which went towards the implementation of the water project in Nakapiripit – a part of the Karamoja sub region.
Over the last 12 years, 140,000 entrants have participated in the company’s annual marathon and raised in excess of sh1.4 billion to help people in less privileged communities.
Collections from previous events have been used in a number of projects; in the early years towards the provision of ‘Mama Bags’ to mothers in the Internally Displaced People’s camps in Gulu and most recently to different water and sanitation projects around the country, which has highlighted this as a key national priority.
“This year, once again MTN is privileged to partner with some key sponsors including; the Vision Group, Huawei, Rwenzori, Stanbic Bank and the Uganda Athletics Federation that has been a key partner since inception.
We appreciate the fact that participation in the MTN Kampala Marathon has been steadily growing in terms of numbers.
People run in the marathon for a number of reasons; to challenge themselves to fulfill a personal sense of achievement but also to contribute towards a worthy cause”, said Gouldie.
Following consultations with the main stakeholder institution responsible for Kampala, the Kampala Capital City Authority, a number of priority projects in the region were identified, and exhaustive selection criteria applied to select deserving low income communities, where the MTN Kampala Marathon intervention would take effect,” he added.
MTN Uganda has over the years been dedicated to the cause of investing in communities and partnering with the government as development partners to ensure a sustainable contribution to improving the lives of less privileged Ugandans.
MTN’s chief executive, Gouldie said that besides the construction of the bio latrines, the kids in these schools will be taught about health and safety literacy, including healthy eating, physical exercise and preventive behaviours that they can take back and impart in their homes and communities.
“MTN and partners will further encourage the schools to educate nearby communities about similar sanitary best practices. We have agreed that in order to further drive the theme of improved water and sanitation practices, KCCA will include a hand washing solution to every bio latrine project implemented”, Gouldie added
“Our Corporate Social Investment initiatives are driven our values and beliefs which are focused on using technology to drive change for good, and our experience has shown that a strong political will and the involvement private and public stakeholders is essential for the achievement of national goals”, he concluded.
Vision Group which is one of the sponsors and the official media partner of the MTN Marathon was represented by Robert Kabushenga, the company CEO. He said, “Vision Group, through our flagship brand New Vision, is proud to be a sponsor of the biggest sporting event of the year; and this year we are pleased that once again a worthy cause has been selected.
The fact that the money raised this year will be used to provide safe sanitation facilities in Kampala schools allows us to be part of an initiative to give back to our community”.
Mr. Rong Xing (Deputy MD Sales , Huawei Technologies Uganda), “This is the fourth time Huawei is participating in this meaningful event as a main sponsor under the theme ‘Run for Kampala’.
Kampala is a very beautiful city, secure, clean, hospitable and full of good people. As Huawei, we have been given a good and secure working environment to carry out our operations. It is the more reason we have come out in a big way this year in terms of financial support plus 1,000 devices to be won by those that register for this year’s marathon.
On his part, the Managing Director, Stanbic Bank Patrick Mweheire said, “We have consistently provided one of largest corporate entries with our staff from across the country participating. This year we reinforced the partnership with the MTN Kampala Marathon because we believe in being relevant and active in the communities where we operate. The ultimate goal of the marathon is the reason we keep coming back year after year”.
He further said, “We are proud to be associated with an event which every year contributes to the uplifting of our society from providing mama kits to providing safe and clean water,” he said”.
Onapito Ekomoloit, Communications Director of Nile Breweries, the holding entity for Rwenzori Bottling Company said, “Water and benefiting communities are two of the Group’s Ten Sustainable Development Priorities, and providing clean water to communities is one of our core Corporate Social Investments.
We commit to stronger partnerships with MTN Uganda and as always our goal remains to refresh all Ugandans with safe and pure mineral water”.
Rwenzori Bottling Company is the leading bottled water manufacturer in Uganda and a sister business to Nile Breweries Limited which are subsidiaries of SAB Miller PLC.
MTN would like to thank the KCCA for its leadership and partnership in this initiative, and looks forward to the 12th MTN Kampala Marathon in 2015 making an impactful change in Kampala