Kenyan Street Protest

CNC report from Kenya
Added On January 24, 2013

Hundreds of Kenyan citizens marched in the streets of Nairobi on Tuesday to protest against the poaching of wildlife, including elephants and rhinos.

The event was organized by the newly formed, Kenyans United Against Poaching Initiative.

"These are Kenyans who got together on Tuesday to match against the poaching of elephants and rhinos. They are saying if the poaching continues then the elephants and rhinos could easily become extinct this affecting the tourism industry."

About 300 Kenyan citizens marched in the streets of Nairobi, the capital city, on Tuesday to protest against poaching of wildlife.

"I'm a Kenyan citizen and am here supporting the march against poaching of elephants because we are losing our elephants in terrible numbers. 2011 we lost about 25,000 elephants across Africa probably more, last year was even worse."

The protesters' main aim was an appeal to the Government that poaching must be declared a national disaster and that immediate actions must be taken by the Government, security forces and international organizations to bring an end to poaching. They believe it is threatening the country's wildlife, national heritage and the future of Kenya.

Samuel Sekeret, one of the protesters and from the Maasai community, travelled all the way from Maasai Mara to Nairobi to express his feelings during the protest. He told CNC the Maasai mara game reserve now has much less animals than it did a few decades ago as a result of poaching.
"I have seen elephants killed in Maasai Mara and they cut the bushes and cover them, they kill them with spears, poisoned arrows and guns."
He is afraid in a few years that the world famous Maasai Mara may lose the thousands of tourists who visit the game reserve to see the animals.

"The hyenas are also killed, the lions are killed no more lions in the Maasai mara when you see a lion its like a wonder. When you see a rhino a rhino is even history now, we have one rhino that is being tracked and they are trying to take care of it day and night."

This comes against the backdrop of incredible challenges as poaching rings become more and more organized, sophisticated and the price of ivory and rhino horn have escalated beyond belief. As a result, Kenya is on the brink of losing a significant source of its economic lifeline.

Mugo Kibati, the director of Vision 2030, was in attendance and warned that Kenya may not be able to achieve economic stability if it loses its wildlife.

"I think arresting poaching is a very important initiative because as you would know for Kenya and for East Africa and many African countries wildlife tourism is a very major component of tourism and in Kenya tourism specifically is about 10% of the economy of the GDP and so we are very concerned when we see poaching of any animal, be it elephants rhinoceros and even some of the lesser known animals because sometimes people forget that we have species which are not as famous as the big five that may become extinct very soon if we do not arrest poaching."

In 2012, Kenya lost 384 elephants and 19 rhinos to poaching compared to 289 elephants and 29 rhinos poached in 2011. Sadly, the actual numbers of deaths are probably higher as many of the killings go unreported.