The traditional Roof of Africa race has been running in various parts of Lesotho for more than 40 years now and this race has played an important role in growing tourism in the country. The environmental and social responsibilities of all visitors are, however, under the spotlight and the organisers of the 2010 Baboons Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa are busy with various initiatives to address these issues.
One of the goals of Adventure Lesotho (Pty) Ltd, is to ensure the participation of local communities so that they can benefit more from the race. Local community structures associated with the Roof of Africa race have been in place within the areas the race passes through for the past few years and are continuously strengthening.
The environmental responsibility includes a recycling programme as a long-term goal for this annual race. The organisers are also aiming to enhance environmental awareness with the mantra “Leave Only Tyre Marks Behind” as the ultimate goal. This aspect will be interwoven with rider responsibility and spectator education so as to reduce littering and promote sustainable waste disposal.
A Land Rehabilitation Program is also in place, with the aim to ensure that the land used or affected by the race, is returned to its former state. This will be very dependent on the route and takes into consideration not only agricultural land affected, but also land identified as being ecologically sensitive.
The involvement of the local communities ensures their loyalty and commitment to this traditional race and it has already shown that it instils pride within them towards this annual international project. The various initiatives put in place by the organisers will not only ensure social and economic upliftment for the local communities, but will also ensure their commitment to tourism in general and will contribute to their education.