Elephant Neighbour Centre (ENC) will plant over 4,000 tree seedlings in Kericho County as they commemorate the Great North Rift Elephant Campaign Walk, Kericho East Deputy County Commissioner, Stephen Orinde, has said.
Speaking while officially flagging-off the Great North Rift Elephant Campaign Walk-themed “Ivory belongs to elephants” Mr Orinde termed the exercise a wake-up call to residents of Kericho to be part and parcel of the conservation of Mau Forest since it’s home to over 300 elephants.
“There is a need to conserve our forest since it’s a home to many wild animals who play a critical role in tourist attractions, I call upon residents neighbouring our forests here in Kericho to avoid forest destruction as it endangers our ecosystem,” said Mr Orinde.
While attending the flag-off, Elephant research scientist and activist against poaching, Jim Nyamu, called on all stakeholders in the wildlife sector to intensify the sensitisation of Kenyans on wildlife protection and environmental conservation.
“The ecosystem at the Mau Forest has drastically changed and if we are not careful, we will lose the wild animals specifically the over 300 elephants. That is why I launched the great North Rift Elephant Campaign walk to to sensitise residents on the importance of conserving the environment,” Mr Nyamu said.
While passing through Kericho County, the Great North Rift Elephant Campaign team planted over 1,000 seedlings in various schools and a forest conservancy and promised to buy more than 4,000 seedlings to be planted by Kenya Wildlife Service and other stakeholders.
“We need to combat the effects of climate change by planting the right trees on water catchment areas. We are the generation that has destroyed our environment, so we need to plant for the future generation,” added Mr Nyamu.
The Walk which was launched on November 6, 2021 is set to take 33 days and will pass through 11 counties, based on recent assessments, the African forest elephant whose population fell by more than 86 per cent over a 31-year period and has been listed as critically endangered.
By Byegon Alfric and Dominic Cheres