Established in 2003, the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) is an initiative of the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC). KPAP is a legally registered project with a Tanzanian Non-Governmental Organization. KPAP is not a porter membership organization, or a tour operating business, and does not collect any fees from porters or climbing companies.
KPAP’s mission is to improve the working conditions of the porters on Kilimanjaro by:
- Lending mountain clothing to porters free of charge
- Advocating for fair wages and ethical treatment by all companies climbing Kilimanjaro
- Encouraging climbers to select a climbing company with responsible treatment practices towards their crew. Latest Partner List can be found here.
- Providing educational opportunities to the mountain crew
KPAP’s main office is located in Moshi, Tanzania
Since 2003, KPAP’s work has had a tremendous impact for porters climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. These include:
- Porters on 39,284 climbs have borrowed KPAP’s mountain climbing gear free-of-charge
- Over 7,000 porters climbing with Partner for Responsible Travel companies are ensured fair and ethical treatment every year
- More than 16,000 mountain crew have participated with KPAP’s free educational and training classes.
- During this time of pandemic, more than 4,000 have participated with Budgeting & Money Management, Alternative Income Projects, Village Group Savings, and Organic Farming Workshops.
- Through funding provided by the Tanzanian Foundation for Civil Society, KPAP has instructed 5,225 porters in classes on Porter Rights
- 377 mountain crew have received Leave No Trace certification in environmental care of Mount Kilimanjaro. 15 porters have been certified as LNT Instructors.
- 1,387 mountain crew have been certified in First Aid and 84 porters and guides have been trained as First Aid Instructors.
Through the Partner for Responsible Travel Program, in 2021:
- Although the government has declared a minimum wage, the salary amounts paid are variable and can be as low as 8-10,000Tsh per day. Because it is mandatory for the Partner companies to pay at least 20,000Tsh per day, the average daily salary payment was 21,000Tsh.
- Companies have different tipping procedures and climbers may give the guide the tip money assuming s/he will distribute the tip fairly. It is a Partner requirement to have transparency in tipping and KPAP reviews the tipping procedure on every climb. 98% of the Partner companies’ climbs had transparent tipping procedures.
- Porters may eat 1 or 2 meals per day on a climb. The Partner companies are committed to providing 3 meals per day with good portion quantity reported on 99% of the climbs.
- Porters may have poor sleeping accommodations and be overcrowded. Partner company porters slept in good quality tents and had adequate sleeping space 98.5% of the time.
- Partner companies weigh the bags prior to going to the gate. This helps ensure the appropriate number of porters and they are carrying the 20kg weight regulation.
All legally licensed climbing companies are welcome to join the Partner for Responsible Travel Program. By choosing to climb with a Partner company, you can rest assured that your porters are taken care of well.
KPAP Website: http://www.kiliporters.org/