First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has launched a conservation campaign to save elephants. Stakeholders participated in the unveiling of the East Africa Grass-Root Elephant Education Campaign Walk, themed ‘Ivory Belongs to Elephants’ on Saturday.
The walk aimed to raise awareness about the value of elephants and rhino, mitigate human-elephant conflict and promote anti-poaching activities.

Speaking before she flagged off the walk at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Margaret applauded the increasing support for activities geared towards protecting elephants.

She said it is encouraging that ordinary individuals are spearheading wildlife conservation efforts. Margaret commended Jim Nyamu, the executive director of Elephant Neighbours Centre, who is leading the new initiative to protect elephants and rhinos.

She said engaging communities at the grassroots to foster a spirit of harmony and peaceful co-existence between people and ecosystems is one of the best ways to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts.

“I have been to a lot of events and a lot of meetings aimed at addressing poaching and ivory trade, but I can tell you I have never been to an event quite like this one! It is so encouraging to be here,” Margaret said.

The First Lady expressed optimism that through individual and collective efforts, elephant poaching will be eradicated. “Just a year ago, Jim began walking to save elephants and I understand that since then you have walked more than 5,000km, which is simply astounding,” she said.

Margaret expressed hope that through efforts such as Nyamu’s, the entire East African Community will be pulled towards addressing elephant poaching and ivory trade. Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu said Nyamu’s passion for conservation of wildlife shows what Kenyans have been doing to address the poaching menace.

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