THEY DID IT! UK and Ethiopian amputee duo ascend Ethiopia’s highest mountain

31 Oct 2019

British quadruple amputee, Alex Lewis, Ethiopian double amputee Emebet Dires, accompanied by the Wild Wheelchairs Project team successfully reached the Ras Dashen Summit at 4,533 metres on 6th October.

Alex had both arms and both legs amputated and underwent extensive skin grafts and facial reconstruction, after contracting strep A toxic shock syndrome, septicaemia and necrotising fasciitis in 2013. Emebet, now 19, was hit by a car at the age of three and lost both her legs from the knee down. She now plays wheelchair basketball, races tricycles and is also keen to take on the challenge.

Arriving in Ethiopia on 27th September, the team were accorded a warm Ethiopian welcome in Bahir Dar by local government officials and Emebet. In a video shared widely on social media, Alex and Emebet are seen doing the Eskista – a traditional Ethiopian dance.

Over the next several days, Alex and Emebet ascended Ethiopia’s highest mountain using a special solar-powered handcycle designed by students from the University of Southampton.

Alex Lewis, Emebet Dires and David Collinson at the summit of Ras Dashen

This was no easy feat for the two amputees, especially given the weather conditions – Ethiopia was at the last stages of the rainy season! At one stage, the pair managed to drive their handcycles past a bus stuck in the mud. A few days later, the support team had to carry the handcycles across a river ford in knee-high water.

On 30th October, the team were welcomed to the Embassy for a meeting with Ambassador Fesseha who congratulated them for their monumental achievement and thanked them for choosing Ethiopia for their first expedition. The Ambassador reiterated the Embassy’s support for their future endeavours and extended an invitation to the team to explore other parts of Ethiopia on their next trip.

Briefing the Ambassador, Alex said: “Our expectations [in Ethiopia] were met! It was the most remarkable 17 days I have ever had.” Alex also applauded Emebet, the Ethiopian double amputee who accompanied him on the adventure, adding that she will make a great Ambassador for disability awareness in Ethiopia.

Alex and Emebet speaking to school children in Ethiopia

Founded by Alex Lewis Trust and David Collinson, Wild Wheelchairs Project is raising money to finance the construction of a wheelchair manufacturing facility in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, and support ongoing programmes to help the disabled in that region. For further information, visit: http://bit.ly/WildWheelchairsProject.

Alex’s and Emebet’s full journey has been filmed by director Simon Ratigan for a documentary to be screened at a later date.

Latest News

Browse all
#SaveTheDate September 10th, 2022 Fundraising Event on the Eve of Ethiopian New Year! We are Fundraising for the Reconstruction of Seqota and Mersa Secondary Schools in #Amhara Region and Erebti and Duba Secondary Schools in #Afar Region. Members of the Diaspora and Friends of #Ethiopia are all invited! #SaveTheDate September 10th, 2022
12 Aug 2022
የኢትዮጵያ ቀን | ETHIOPIA DAY
It is to be recalled that the Government of Ethiopia has established a committee to negotiate with the TPLF and end the conflict once and for all. The Committee of seven led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, began discharging its responsibilities as it formally set out a couple of weeks ago the rule of…
12 Aug 2022
The Government of Ethiopia Remains Committed for a Peaceful Resolution of the Conflict in the Northern Part of Ethiopia
9 Aug 2022
Announcement.
ማስታወቂያውን በ PDF ለማየት / To view in PDF Format፡ Announcement
9 Aug 2022
ክፍት የስራ መደብ ማስታወቂያ | Announcement
8 Aug 2022
በወቅታዊ ሀገራዊ የደህንነትና ፀጥታ ጉዳዮች ዙሪያ በመምከር፣ ከብሔራዊ የደኅንነት ምክር ቤት የተሰጠ መግለጫ
#TeamEthiopia #Ethiopia
8 Aug 2022
Team Ethiopia
It is to be recalled that the Government of Ethiopia declared an indefinite humanitarian truce on March 24 to expedite the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the Tigray Region. The Government, in partnership with aid organisations, has since managed to deliver over 5,648 lorries of much-needed food, nutrition, and fuel to the Tigray Region. This endeavour allowed the delivery of…
5 Aug 2022
The Government of Ethiopia Continues to Ensure Unhindered Humanitarian Access to Tigray
In terms of ensuring accountability, the Government is implementing the recommendations of the Joint Investigation reports of EHRC and the UN Human Rights body by establishing Inter-Ministerial Taskforce which is tasked with collating and documenting criminal acts with a view to bringing perpetrators to the court of law. Thus far, the Taskforce took considerable steps in fulfilling its objectives. Establishing…
28 Jul 2022
The Government of Ethiopia has Taken Several Steps to Ensure Accountability Pertaining to the Conflict in the Northern Part of Ethiopia
It is to be recalled that the Government had declared an indefinite humanitarian truce on March 24 to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the Tigray Region. The Government, in partnership with aid organisations, has since managed to deliver over 4,000 lorries of much-needed food, nutrition, and fuel to the Tigray Region. This endeavour allowed the delivery of over…
24 Jul 2022
The Government of Ethiopia has Ensured Unhindered Humanitarian Access to Tigray
Congratulations Team #Ethiopia #Oregon2022 #athletics  
18 Jul 2022
Congratulations Team Ethiopia
It is to be recalled from our previous edition of The Brief that the Government of Ethiopia has been working closely with the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa to ensure a lasting political settlement to the conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia. True to its commitment, the government announced the formation of a committee to study…
16 Jul 2022
On the Peaceful Resolution of the Conflict in the Northern Part of Ethiopia
8 Jul 2022
ክፍት የስራ ማስታወቂያ | Announcement