Mount Kilimanjaro Porter Society

The Mount Kilimanjaro Porter's Society was created by ZARA Tours in 2004 for the purpose of preventing the exploitation of the local population and preserving the local environment through sustainable tourism. Before the founding of the Mount Kilimanjaro Porter's Society, there was no regulating body to ensure the safety and well-being of the porters summiting the mountain. Given the need for employment, these individuals were endangering their lives to secure work, they received poor quality provisions and safety gear, they overloaded themselves with equipment, and they were not paid fair wages. Also during this time, few porters possessed significant knowledge about sustaining Mount Kilimanjaro's ecosystem or habitat. The creation of the Porter's Society has fought hard to alleviate these challenges through central coordination.

Now the Porter's Society is an established organization with its own constitution, includes over 700 porters, and is completely self governed. The ultimate goals of this society are to protect the rights of the porters that work on Mount Kilimangaro. The first of it's kind in the area, some of the beneficial measures provided by the MKPS include: (1) weight limits on the amount of gear porters are required to carry, (2) minimum standards for wages, rations, and sufficient gear, (3) free twice daily English education classes, (4) free first aid and mountain safety education classes, (5) free educational classes on sustainable tourism and environmental conservation of the mountain, (6) and micro-finance loan assistance and provision of emergency funds for porters' families. Additionally, the porters of this society take part in two climbs per year in which they clean the mountain on their way to the top. In these ways the Porter's Society is working very hard to protect the health and safety of the porters while at the same time supporting the community and providing better customer service for tourists.

If you would like to find out more about the Kilimangaro Porter's Society, please visit their website at http://www.kilimanjaro-porters.org