Kenyan wildlife conservationist Nyamu in Bulawayo after 400km walk

A KENYAN wildlife conservationist, Jimu Justus Nyamu (pictured) arrived in Bulawayo on Wednesday after walking a gruelling 400km journey from Victoria Falls to raise awareness on the dwindling elephant population.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Nyamu, who is on a 42 000km walk from east to southern Africa, left Nairobi in July with a team from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

The eight-man team has so far covered over 3 000km from Kenya to Tanzania, Zambia and now Zimbabwe as they raise awareness on the need to preserve elephants.

Nyamu arrived in Bulawayo yesterday and was welcomed by mayor Solomon Mguni at the Large City Hall.

“We are simply creating awareness on the importance of elephants,” he said.

Nyamu said he completed another awareness campaign walk in the United Kingdom in December last year.

Nyamu’s team next week travels to Botswana, before proceeding to South Africa on a similar mission.

Nyamu decried the decreasing number of elephants in Africa.

“In 1970, Africa had 3,5 million elephants but according to 2016 wildlife statistics, the continent has now 415 000 elephants. In a span of 40 years, we have lost 3 million,” said Nyamu.

“This is because of us human beings. We must accept that this is our mistake. God placed these animals in the world so that we all benefit.”

The Bulawayo mayor concurred.

“This decline of elephants is an indication that we need to protect our wildlife and strive to maintain our current population. The elephant was used as an emblem by King Lobengula as his royal seal and in that regard we highly respect an elephant,’’ Mguni said.

Nyamu said their campaign is being held under the theme “Ivory belongs to Elephants.”

He said his team will take their awareness campaigns to schools in Bulawayo till Monday.

According to Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, the country is home to the second largest estimated elephant population in the world at 84 000, exceeding the carrying capacity of 50 000 jumbos. It comes after Botswana, which is estimated to hold over 130 000 elephants.

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