The late Michael Werikhe, also known as “the Rhino Man” was the first Kenya to raise awareness on the black rhino species. His first walk from Mombasa to Nairobi lasted 27 days. It was the experience of witnessing tonnes of poached ivory and rhino horns, in the 70’s and 80’s, which led Werikhe to fundraise for conservation of endangered species. In recognition, the efforts of the late Werikhe, international ban on ivory trade and improved security surveillance by the Kenya Wildlife Service enabled the populations to rebound.
Regrettably, we are witnessing an upsurge in poaching of ivory and rhino horns to unprecedented levels similar to those the 1980’s, says Jim Nyamu.
Jim Nyamu, a research scientist with over 12 years experience saving the African elephant took over the mantle from the late Werikhe and will end the 484 km walk from Mombasa to Nairobi in a reception at the Tree Centre, Nairobi Arboretum grounds on Saturday 23rd February 2013.
Jim’s walk lasted 15 days compared to 27 days by Werikhe. The walk dubbed “ivory belong to elephant” will climax with Jim delivering over 10,000 petitions he collected as he walked. Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Hon. Noah Wekesa, Minister for Forestry and Wildlife among others will receive Jim at the Tree Centre.
Hundreds of protesters calling for a global ban on ivory trade will join Jim along Mombasa road and Uhuru Highway to the Nairobi Arboretum grounds. Jim agrees the time to act is now and will urged the 177 governments gathering in Bangkok from March 3-14 for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to begin "a formal procedure that would lead to a total ban of the ivory trade."