KWS receives contraband ivory set to be burnt in a fortnight

KWS receives contraband ivory set to be burnt in a fortnight

As the country gears up for the historic torching of the largest ever consignment of contraband ivory on April 30th, containers loaded with ivory from several parts of the country started arriving at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) headquarters Friday.

The containers from Voi, Mombasa, Nanyuki and other parts of the country will be received by KWS Director General Kitili Mbathi for clearance, before being transported under heavy security to Nairobi National Park.

The ivory will make up a significant proportion of an estimated 106 tonnes of elephant tusks to be set ablaze, in an event to be attended by several Heads of State, renowned conservationists, celebrities and other guests.

The event by the government is in protest at the continued slaughter of the country’s most iconic species.

The historic burn will be presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta will lead global actors in setting ablaze 120 tonnes of ivory and 1.5 tonnes of rhino horn to step up the fight against poaching.

In a statement from State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu in March, Kenyatta said the summit will be the biggest of its kind in Africa’s history and a sign of sufficient political goodwill to collectively conserve wildlife.

“Poaching poses a threat to Kenya. Our wildlife, are terrorized and as a consequence, our people suffer. Both Kenya and Africa rely, in part, on our natural resources–including our wildlife-for the economic growth and development that is a pre-requisite for peace, security and stability. Among other things, we rely on our wildlife and environment for tourism. To many in the world, Kenya is majestic animals on the Maasai Mara, Great Tuskers of Tsavo, the northern bush country of Samburu and Laikipia and the white sands of our Coast,” read the statement in part.

“The killing of our animals affects our ecosystems, our environment and our tourism. It affects us. Realizing the deeply detrimental impact poaching has on our country, it is incumbent on us, as Kenyans, to lead the regional and global conservation efforts,” further read the statement.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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