Support for Sahara water conservation

Adventurers have been running across the Sahara Desert to promote water conservation - and keeping in contact with the wider world thanks to Inmarsat's BGAN. Ultra marathon runner Ray Zahab was part of a team which covered the entire width of the Sahara - some 6,920 km (4,500 miles) in 111 days, with no rest days. The experience alerted Ray to the lack of clean water in the region. About one in eight people do not have access to clean drinking water and some 2.5 billion people do not have access to a sanitary lavatory.

Global scarcity
Running Tunisia was the second stage of Ray's World Expedition Series to raise awareness of the global scarcity of clean water. Ray, along with four Youth Ambassadors and other adventurers, covered 268km (167 miles) through the northern Sahara's searing heat and imposing sand.
The Youth Ambassadors were young athletes from North America who were chosen to communicate with and inspire young people. Andy Dilla is a junior at the University of Pittsburg, Jill Gilday is in full-time training for short track speed skating at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Connor Clerke is a grade 12 student at Kelowna Secondary School in British Columbia and Kajsa Heyes, is a high school student and athlete from Vancouver.

Extreme fitness
All had an extremely high level of fitness and slotted in running training with other events such as bicycle trekking, snowboarding and waterskiing. In addition to Ray Zahab, the team members were Mohammed Ixa, a Saharan tribal leader,Bob Cox, an athlete and water specialist, Kathy Adams, an environmentalist and ultra distance runner, Marshall Ulrich, who has had great success in a wide range of extreme events, John Zahab, a strength and conditioning specialist, writer Eric Walters and Dr Ewan Affleck, guide and expedition co-ordinator.
Inmarsat distribution partner Stratos and service provider Satellite Communication Source, based in Ontario, Canada, provided the expedition with a Thrane & Thrane Explorer 700 terminal so they could beam content to their website via Inmarsat's BGAN service.

Siberian Express
Stratos provided a BGAN service for the 10-day Siberian Express for Water expedition, in which Ray Zahab and colleague Kevin Vallely ran the 650km (400-mile) length of Siberia's frozen Lake Baikal. They used BGAN to maintain contact with the project team, to post photos and blog entries, upload videos and stream live video into classrooms across North America.
The live video conferences provided a compelling learning experience to more than 8,000 students. During the expedition, pupils were able to see and converse with the participants in real time- while learning about clean drinking water issues around the world.

Added value
Stratos Dashboard, the foundation of The Stratos Advantage value-added services, was used to monitor and control BGAN airtime usage. Ray Zahab said, "Given the exceptional broadband connectivity we enjoyed in the harsh Siberian wilderness, we naturally decided to again rely upon BGAN from Stratos for our Tunisian trek."
He added, "I am continually amazed at the system's durability and reliability, which is helping bring our message to millions worldwide."
In September 2009, Ray took an expedition to Baffin Island and in 2008 he completed a self-supported trek to the South Pole. He runs impossible2Possible, a non-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring, educating, and equipping a generation of global problem solvers.

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