A band of celebrities, scientists, activists and musicians are on the last leg of a week-long trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of a growing global water crisis.
The glaciers atop Mt. Kilimanjaro are the wellspring of life for much of eastern Africa, providing fresh water to the drought-stricken lowlands. But the glaciers are rapidly receding. Some researchers estimate that due to global warming, the glacier could be gone in as soon as 20 years, an event which would trigger massive famine in the already stressed continent.
So a band of Hollywood influencers are trying to do something about it. They've set up an elaborate multimedia website called Summit on the Summit which provides a stream of tweets directly from the hikers, Facebook photos, video, and even real-time heart rate monitoring. I checked it out ... the high-tech looking (and sounding) website actually works. You can tell when everyone is sleeping because the heart rates go below 100.
The trek is being sponsored by Pur water filters and HP. Pur is providing water filtration to refugee camps through the United Nations Foundation and HP will give $1 for every person who joins the Summit Cause on Facebook.
The campaign has been leveraging the star power of the participants to great effect. Towards the beginning of the trek, they initiated a social media "wave" called Go Blue (people turned their Twitter backgrounds blue) at #SOTSK resulting in 12 million media impressions.
Based on the most recent tweet pics, the crew is up at 18,000 feet and walking through a blizzard:
It looks like a great adventure and one, hopefully that will translate into some awareness and funding to provide clean water to Africans in need.