Nairobi Walks the Talk for Elephants and Rhinos
Participants started streaming in at the Nairobi National Museum from as early as 7 am. Men and women, young and old showed up for the count and joined the Nairobi edition of the Global march for elephants and rhinos, on Saturday 4 October 2014.
Dr Paula Kahumbu, CEO of WildlifeDirect and of the HandsOffOurElephants campaign was also here with a team of staff and volunteers.
At about 9 am, the crowd of about 1,500 left the museum and started the march towards the Uhuru gardens, using Uhuru highway and on to Langata road.
“This is one of the most moving and memorable moments in elephant conservation for this country in the last 25 years,” said Dr Kahumbu . “This demonstrates that time has come and Kenyans are saying No More!”
Present at the march to show support to the conservation of elephants and rhinos was the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Anne Amadi. She said that the Kenyan judiciary was committed to enforcing the law. ” We are going to make sure that anybody who is brought before the courts for anything connected with violation of our animals are going to be dealt with. So that is why I am here and I am really happy,” she added.
The cabinet secretary for the ministry of Environment, water and natural resources, Prof Judi Wakhungu sent a representative, Stephen Manegene, who read her statement on her behalf.
“We have prepared and implemented a comprehensive National Elephant Action plan towards combating illegal trade in ivory trade to ensure elephant poaching and illegal trade in elephant ivory is reduced if not eliminated,” she said in her statement.
Also present was the American ambassador to Kenya Bob Godec, as well as the Australian high commissioner to Kenya, Geoff Tooth.
Both diplomats expressed their support and commitment to wildlife conservation efforts in Kenya.
“The Australian people care passionately about the fate of elephants, the fate of the rhino and the fate of all animals that are on the endangered species list. That is why I am here; I am here to represent them and to really show that we care and we want to do something about this absolutely evil trade that is destroying the animals for our kids futures,” said Commissioner Tooth.
On his part Ambassador Godec, pledged both his and his Government’s support. “I want to tell you that the American government, American people, me personally, we are committed to being part of the solution, helping to address the threat of poaching, to help preserve the lives of elephants and rhinos.”
The global march was a united front for conservation of the two endangered species, that saw marches happening in about 150 cities across the world.
The march called for measures to tackle the poaching problem, including a full worldwide ban on the trade of ivory and rhino horn.
Sir David Attenborough, Sir Richard Branson, Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais, Rory Bremner and Michaela Strachan were among the high-profile names who shared their public support to the march.
“I hate what is happening right now with the elephants and rhinos. Over 1000 rhinos are killed per year for their horn. I want my children to find these species here and not have to ask me where they are,” said Charles Chomba, a student from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology who attended the march.
Another student, Wagah Cheryl of the Kwnyatta University, was appalled by the wanton killing of the magnificent species. “The rate at which elephants and Rhinos are killed surprises me, yet these are our heritage. Poaching is something that should not be happening on our watch, and that is why I am here to join others in demonstrating this commitment”.
More than 35,000 elephants are also killed across Africa very year for their tusks, which are used, especially in China, for prized decorations and trinkets.