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November 14, 2018

Group to walk 617km to protect jumbos, rhinos

Elephants walk in front of cows belonging to Samburu herders on February 12, 2017/REUTERS/
Elephants walk in front of cows belonging to Samburu herders on February 12, 2017/REUTERS/

A wildlife conservation group on Saturday started a 617km walk from Nairobi to Marsabit.

The walk is aimed at raising awareness of endangered African elephants and rhinos.

The Ivory Belongs To Elephants Marsabit Walk, 2017, by the Elephants Neighbours’ Centre will take 32 days and participants will pass through nine counties.

The counties are Nairobi, Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri, Laikipia, Meru, Isiolo, Samburu and Marsabit.

The walk was flagged off at the Kenya National Museums by ENC executive director Jim Nyamu and Ireland Ambassador Vincent O’Neill.

“During this walk, we shall talk to communities, particularly in the Mt Kenya region, where there are issues of human-wildlife conflict,” he said.

“We are going to remind Kenyans that we need our elephants, particularly the government of Marsabit, that is committed to securing and ensuring the remaining 76 elephants in the county are protected.”

Marsabit Trade and Tourism executive Golicha Sora is among those taking part in the walk.

Nyamu said although Kenya is one of the four African countries with the highest numbers of elephants, the population has been declining because of poaching and human-wildlife conflict. He said, the public has not been properly educated on the need to conserve wildlife.

Nyamu said more than 80 per cent of Kenyan elephants are found outside protected areas and about 78 per cent of poaching is reported in these areas.

O’Neill said his government is committed to support wildlife conservation efforts to preserve Kenya’s heritage.

“We are going to walk with him [Nyamu] and as an embassy we are providing 100 footballs and volleyballs as part of his education message as he traverses the counties,” he said.

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