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Students call for conservation of wildlife

Sunday September 25 2016

Students take part in a march agitating for wildlife conservation on September 24, 2016 in Mombasa County. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Students take part in a march agitating for wildlife conservation on September 24, 2016 in Mombasa County. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WACHIRA MWANGI
By WACHIRA MWANGI
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VIVIAN JEBET
By VIVIAN JEBET
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Hundreds of students from various schools in Mombasa County called for the conservation of wildlife and strengthening the port to curb illegal wildlife trade.

The youths drawn from Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa Academy, Oshwal Academy, Green Woods Academy, Coast Academy - who are members of Stand Up Shout Out Youth Organisation - marched along the Coastal city in a bid to agitate for end in poaching of rhinos and elephants.

Together with the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions, the youths advocated for the prioritisation of wildlife conservation.

The organisation's CEO Peter Moll said the walk is meant to raise awareness about the consequences of harming the environment.

“We are using high schools and university clubs to make young people to do what we do. The Stand Up and Shout Out wants to show that young people are ready to take up responsibilities for wildlife. This is about anti-poaching and also engaging the youths in preservation of wildlife and the environment,” Mr Moll said.

He said some of their objectives include spurring efforts to conserve elephants and rhinos on both a national and global scale, advocating for protection and preservation of elephants and rhinos and also have a collective support in banning ivory trade.

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Youth, Sports and Gender County Executive Mohamed Abbas, after flagging off the walk, said the initiative will promote wildlife sustainability.

He said it was time for young people to take lead in preserving heritage.

The activists walked from Treasury Square to Mama Ngina Drive urging residents to join the march.

Mr Moll indicated that the Port of Mombasa is a focal point used for trafficking wildlife, calling for action against the trade.

“We want to send a message that Mombasa, its people, and government do not support the misuse of our port for illegal trafficking of wildlife, and that we stand united on this point," he said.

The same campaign was carried out in Samburu County on Friday.

More than 300 people turned up for the 17km walk aimed at creating awareness about protecting wildlife.

The Kenya Wildlife Service officer in charge of Eastern region, Emmanuel Koech, said poaching has reduced in the Eastern and Northern parts of Kenya following massive efforts by stakeholders to sensitize locals against poaching.

He, however, noted that poachers from other parts of the country are now in Samburu East in search of elephant trophies.

“We have engaged in several campaigns in Samburu East. The problem is poachers from other areas are now coming to the county to conduct their illegal activities,” he said.

Mr Koech is in charge of three out of eight conservancies in the country.

The official encouraged locals to volunteer names of suspected poachers to police for investigation and arrest.

Edited by Philip Momanyi