Overland 12 – The new African adventure with Iveco Trucks providing solidarity.
Halfway between adventure and solidarity. This is the spirit that animates the Overland 12 project, dedicated to the exploration of the vast continent of Africa, along a difficult route full of obstacles that combine the fascination of adventure with sound humanitarian objectives. The tour began in January in the west of Africa (Atlantic coast), and will reach South Africa during the month of March. It will progress through the areas in which the soccer World Cup will be held during June before crossing Central Africa and reaching Egypt. The expedition will conclude in Rome in late May. A very ambitious itinerary both in terms of distance and the rugged condition of many road sections and geographical barriers that are encountered along the way. Also in terms of time; there are over 5 months of travel and a total of 47000 kilometres in a territory complex from the point of view of the environment, safety and logistics but certainly for the rich variety of the people, landscape and wildlife.
Taking part in the expedition are, as usual, the Iveco vehicles, with two of the four "bonneted" 330.30 ANW 6x6 of the historic fleet, which have solidly supported many expeditions in the past, to which were added a Trakker 6x6, a Daily 4x4 crew cab and two Massif 5-door 4x4s. The crew is made up of 16 people, led by Beppe Tenti, founder of the project Overland and owner of Trekking International. During stops 12 people are accommodated on board the trucks with four sleeping in tents. The kitchen is on board one of the trucks where the majority of meals are taken.
Overland 12, as during previous trips, also devotes particular attention to the humanitarian aspects: four doctors, selected by the ‘Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria’ and the University of Parma alternate in the Daily 4x4 in the convoy using advanced telemedicine techniques to help both now and in future medical outposts that the expedition will reach along the route.
Two meetings to that effect have been held in Morocco. The first in Tangiers in Moulay Hafid Palace (Palace of Italian institutions, once an Italian school) with students from the Tangiers School for a project developed by the Lions Clubs of Torino, Moncalieri and Tangiers, and in collaboration with Iveco, the Torino UNESCO Centre and sponsored by the Province of Torino and Arco Latino with the aim of organizing training courses for local young people and to send free optical material intended for the visually impaired. Iveco, as a logistics partner, is engaged in the transport of lenses, spectacles and associated equipment.
The second meeting took place in Rabat where the Overland team visited the physicians and met children of the Children's Hospital, the latter being treated in the department specialising in Thalassaemia. For them it was something of a festive occasion to welcome and admire the special Iveco vehicles in their orange livery.
Even in Nigeria Overland 12 and Iveco renewed their commitment to social solidarity with an initiative to assist local communities most in need. Representatives of Iveco Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia Market met the young people of the local soccer team and gave them a new football strip in the traditional Nigerian vibrant colours.
All these initiatives fit into Iveco’s and the Fiat Group’s social sustainability programme as well as recognizing the company's ongoing commitment to local communities from less developed areas.
After a stop in Lagos, the expedition will follow a course taking it through Cameroon, and then into the forests of Gabon before crossing the equator in the Congo before entering Angola, bringing its traditional message of peace and solidarity before arriving in Namibia and South Africa; then heading north to Egypt.
The Overland 12 convoy has already crossed Morocco, Mali, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo, overcoming the rocky desert and broken asphalt of Morocco, the Sahara Desert and the challenging sandy slopes and thereafter the muddy tracks of the rainforest, along riverbeds, including significant climbs and descents through deep fords which make driving very tiring. Not to mention the climate from the hot and dry desert, with strong temperature variations between day and night, going to the tropical temperatures that reach 40 degrees with a very high humidity level.
For those keen on following the expedition, access to the internet is available through the official website of Iveco http://www.iveco.com/it-it/ivecogroup/pages/ilg%20-%20spon%20-%20over.aspx with original audio content from Daily Radio, http://www.dailyradio.iveco.com, publishing weekly summaries of interviews and the best photographic images from the official photographer travelling with the expedition.
Iveco designs, manufactures, and markets a broad range of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, off-road trucks, city and intercity buses and coaches as well as special vehicles for applications such as fire fighting, off-road missions, defence and civil protection.
Iveco employs almost 25,000 people and runs 27 production units in 16 Countries in the world using excellent technologies developed in 6 research centres. Besides Europe, the company operates in China, Russia, Australia and Latin America. With around 5,000 sales and service outlets in over 160 Countries guarantee technical support wherever in the world an Iveco vehicle is at work.
Torino, 1st March 2010