By James Musyoka,
Director of Operations and Field Director of Kenya Connect
At the end of April, Kenya Connect took a group of eleven of The School Fund students for a geocaching trip in Nairobi thanks to the support of KC Co-Founder Tim Gregory and his wife Kim. These are students who had performed exemplary in their end-of- term exams and so this trip was both an incentive as well as a geocaching expedition. The students found four caches among the five hidden in Nairobi National Park and saw many African animals. TSF student Mueni wrote to her sponsor, “I want to tell you that during the holiday we had a tour to NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK. It was so enjoyable; we saw many wild animals which I had only seen before in a book. The highlight of the geocaching experience was at the Ivory burning site cache. At this site in 1989, the former president Moi set fire to a 6m high pile of 2,000 elephant tusks weighing 12 tons and worth $3million worth of ivory in a highly publicized event. This was a stockpile from 4 years confiscations from poachers to demonstrate Kenya’s commitment to save the African elephant from mass slaughter and extinction from lucrative ivory trade. On Saturday we were lucky to find the wildlife staff stacking piles of ivory and rhino horns that will be torched in another publicized ceremony this coming weekend and that will be presided by the sitting president to uphold the same commitment to protect the elephant and the rhino. We witnessed about four piles already and more were being made. This will be the biggest pile of ivory ever to be torched in the history of our country!
This field trip provides enrichment to secondary school students being funded through The School Fund. We are grateful to donors who are supporting their education. Kenya Connect provides holiday break programs to empower the students to be successful in school and to broaden their horizons.
Some thoughts by the Participants...
LET'S US SAVE OUR ELEPHANTS AND RHINOS
Human love of beauty and class has been the main threat to the existence of elephants and rhinos. The world population of these animals has been dwindling and there is need to revert this trend if we would have these animals in the future. Elephants are very important in maintaining ecosystem equilibrium. They clear paths for lower herbivores. Their family unity also teaches us a lot in our social life.
The beauty of the elephant tusks is more appreciated worn by the elephants than human beings! Again, the belief that rhino horn is a form of aphrodisiac is misplaced in modern society. Humans of all walks of life should come together and condemn the killing of elephants and rhinos for their horns. This activity only benefits a few selfish people in our society. We should all stand and say no to poaching! The trade on endangered animals trophies should be banned allover the world. Governments should work together and curtail this vice.
Patrick Munguti, Kenya Connect Associate Director and Technology Teacher
THE BURNING OF THE IVORY
I am supporting the burning of the ivory because by doing this it will discourage poaching. This will educate people on the importance of the rhinos. The burning will also earn our country foreign money when other people came to see animals and the ivory burning site.
BURNING OF THE IVORY
I support burning of the ivory. This is because when the poachers are killing and harming the animals. They remember that during the time the ivory was being burnt it meant that poaching is illegal and they should not do or continue doing poaching. So when they remember the burning of the ivory they might stop poaching and also discourage others for the act of poaching and by so doing the wildlife will be preserved.
Poaching is the illegal and merciless act, which aims at hunting wild animals mainly for ivory and hide. Poaching decreases wild animals thus in turn it lowers the foreign exchange of a given country. There are some ways in which we can facilitate reduction of poaching in our country Kenya. They include:
- Report any associated cases to Kenya Wildlife service. Every citizen must be alert because this is our property that we are all proud of.
- The Kenyan government should introduce courses for need to care for the wild animals and educate individuals near game parks or reserves on the importance of conserving wild animals in general.
- We should all maintain security to the targeted animals.
- Lastly we should set life-sentences for anyone found poaching be it a Kenyan citizen or a non-citizen.
Wildlife crime is a vice that threatens our wildlife, which is a priceless heritage. We call upon the global community to partner with us to save this heritage for posterity.