World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Three Young Athletes Run The Sahara

Three Young Athletes Run The Sahara In Un-Backed Bid To Focus On Global Water Crisis

New York, Dec 4 2006 1:00PM

Running over endless sands and camel tracks, past towering dunes, stark rock mountains and mud-brick mosques, through oases and nomad settlements, three young athletes are pounding their way across the Sahara Desert, covering the equivalent of two marathons a day in some of the harshest conditions on Earth in a United Nations-backed bid to raise awareness of the burgeoning global water crisis.

Charlie Engle of the United States, Ray Zahab of Canada and Kevin Lin from Taiwan, province of China, are now in the middle of their extreme quest somewhere in Mali after starting out from St. Louis in Senegal and passing through Mauritania on a trek that will take from 75 to 90 days, UN Development Programme (UNDP) spokesperson Irena Mihova told the UN News Service today.

They still have to cross Niger, Libya and Egypt where they are set to finish in Cairo sometime around the end of January in an odyssey that will the subject of a feature documentary film, “Running the Sahara,” directed by Oscar winner James Moll and narrated by Oscar winner Matt Damon, executive producer, with UNDP as co-producer.

“For the runners, water is a daily necessity,” Ms. Mihova said. “For the people of the Sahara, and throughout the developing world, it is a lifelong concern.”

This is made clear in the UNDP 2006 Human Development Report – Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis – which offers fresh new data on how many poor people go without water and sanitation, the inequality of access within and between nations, and how clean water affects child survival rates.

It calls on the Group of Eight (G-8) developed nations to spearhead an urgent global action plan to resolve the world’s growing water and sanitation crisis, which causes nearly 2 million child deaths every year and holds back countries’ development, especially in Africa.

Against the backdrop of the world-wide challenges the water crisis presents to development, the three men along the way are interacting with the people who live in the 3.5 million square miles of the Sahara, witnessing some of the work by UNDP and others in the region.

Among projects by the UNDP and Global Environment Facility, an independent financial organization, that the runners are visiting are water-management, governance and peace-building efforts in Mali and Niger, a conservation project for medicinal plants in Egypt, dam construction in Mauritania and a school in Senegal.

In addition to the 90-minute film, slated for international release in late 2007, a Web site tracks the progress of Engle, Zahab and Lin, providing information about the people and projects they visit. Web visitors can also pledge support on a per-mile basis for water projects through H2O Africa, the charitable component of Running the Sahara.


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 




UN: “COVID-19 Is Not Over”, Tedros Warns World Health Assembly

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told global health Ministers on Sunday that although reported COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined significantly, it is not time to lower the guard... More>>



UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>


ADC: Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers...
More>>





Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>



UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>