By Charity Ruzvidzo
Elephants Neighbours Centre co-founder, Jim Justus Nyamu, has called upon African elephant range states to conserve wildlife habitats and the wildlife therein, especially elephants.
In an interview with The Southern Times, Nyamu, who is from Kenya, said he is conducting a 42 000 kilometre walk from east to southern Africa in a bid to raise awareness on the importance of preserving wildlife.
“African elephant range states continue to experience poaching, habitat loss and climate change. These effects have caused decline in elephant population. My campaign dubbed 'Ivory belongs to elephants' comes in handy in creating awareness as to why we need to conserve wildlife habitats. We need to preserve elephants and wildlife that drives the economy through tourism,” he said.
“I am on a journey walking through Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. l resigned from the Kenya Wildlife Services as a scientist after realising that no organisations are educating communities and stakeholders on the importance of elephants. Most international organisations concentrate on the ivory markets instead of preserving elephants. My campaign also complements government policies towards wildlife and environmental conservation.”
Nyamu and his team left Kenya on 14 July for Tanzania.
From Tanzania they went to Zambia and arrived in Zimbabwe on 10 September.
He is expected to tour Zimbabwe for 17 days and teach citizens on the importance of conserving wildlife.
Nyamu will end his walk in Botswana.
According to Elephant Neighbours Centre, poaching still threatens the existence of the elephants in Africa.
Despite an international ban on the sale of ivory tusks in 1989, the smuggled tusks seized in certain international port areas show evidence that poaching is still rampant in African and Asian countries, evoking fears that elephants in Africa will be wiped out by year 2020.
Since 2008, the poaching of animals, especially elephants, has dramatically escalated in most parts of Africa.