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Establish Integrated Policies to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict – Nyamu

The County government and communities living within the wildlife corridors have been asked to identify county- integrated approaches to conserving elephants.

Elephants’ survival is already threatened by poaching and other human activities along the wildlife corridor that cuts across from Masimba area through Chulu Hills to Amboseli National Park in Kajiado South sub County.

Executive Director of Elephant Neighbours Centre, Jim Nyamu, said on Wednesday elephants stray into farms and destroy crops after failing to get adequate pastures and water due to human encroachment on their habitat.

“We need to come up with sustainable policy on preserving elephants and ensuring their total safety outside protected areas. More than 70 per cent of poaching activity takes place within these zones,” said Nyamu.

The director made the appeal when he paid a courtesy call on Kajiado County Commissioner David Kipkemei at his office while on a walk to save the elephant from Kenya to South Africa.

Nyamu challenged Kajiado County wildlife department and the County government to ensure that elephant corridors and habitat in the region are protected by engaging and creating awareness among the locals.

This, he said, will make them realise the benefit of elephants as it attracts tourists at Amboseli National Park which has got at least 2,000 elephants.

Nyamu said he believes his trip to the south of the continent is exceptional since it will take him to four countries including Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana to advise their governments to drop the existing laws that allow ivory business to flourish in their territories.

“The main aim of this walk dubbed ‘ivory belongs to elephants’ is to create awareness on the plight of the African elephant. This walk will take where sale of live elephants and ivory trade is practised and which has led to a decrease of elephant population in East Africa,” said he.

He revealed that elephants travel from Kenya to Okavango Swamp in Botswana but at many times they don’t manage to come back because some are killed for ivory while others are sold to other parts leading to a decrease of them in East Africa.

Also, while on the journey Nyamu will sensitize communities along the wildlife corridors and parks on the importance of conserving elephants and their habitats.

Welcoming the team, Kipkemei lauded them for sacrificing their time, money and energy to walk for the sake of elephants.

County Kenya Wildlife Service Warden, Muteru Njau-ini, while underscoring the importance of wildlife conservation, urged communities to stop farming along animal corridors to avoid conflicts and destruction.

Njau-ini also appealed to those who have been affected by wildlife conflict to be patient as the government will soon compensate them with Sh25 million already disbursed to compensate those families that have been bereaved as a result of human-wildlife conflict.

This is the 14th walk that Nyamu has led to safeguard elephants across the World with the journey set to take 160 days covering over 4,200kms.

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