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Government failing wildlife, Garissa conservationist says


by STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Wednesday August 9, 2023


The Chairman Arawale, Hirola wildlife community Trust, Hassan Sheikh Ali
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The county and national governments are not doing much to protect wildlife in Garissa, a conservationist has said.

Speaking in Garissa town yesterday, Hassan Ali also said terror groups from across the border have also become a menace in wildlife conservation.

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Ali is the chairman of the Arawale, Hirola Wildlife Community Trust.

“Both the county and national government have not done much in the protection of wild animals,” he said.

“They are killed every day. This is very unfortunate, it's our heritage as Kenyans.”

Arawale National Reserve is home to a range of wildlife species, including the Hirora or Hunter's hartebeest, Grevy's zebra, wild dog and cheetah.

The reserve is also a sanctuary for other wildlife, such as the African bush elephant, giraffe, lesser kudu, buffalo, hippo and crocodile.

The reserve is a designated conservation area managed by Garissa county in assistance with the Kenya Wildlife Service.

It was gazetted as the only conservation site for the critically endangered Hirola population endemic to northeastern Kenya and southwest Somalia.

Ali said the terror outfits are being pushed from the neighbouring Somalia and consuming fresh game meat for their survival, urging the security apparatus to double their efforts in counterterrorism.

He called on both the national and county government to improve and develop activities on refugee impact areas and transboundary activities.

The county is rich in natural resources, such as wildlife, but they are prone to poaching, trade in bush meat and killing for wildlife trophies.

“There is great need to create awareness among communities and even further, cross-border neighbouring countries as well as refugees,” Ali said.

He called for the development of national reserves, such as Arawale, Rahole, Boni and community conservancy, such as Ishiqbini and Giraffe sanctuary.

This will help communities fight threats such as climate change and social hunger safety.

It will also protect leopards, cheetahs, buffaloes, lions and endangered species, such as Oryx antelopes, Hirola and gravy Zebras, he said.

Ali said he had a discussion with both the Garissa government and Kenya Wildlife Service on measures to protect wildlife urged communities to take a step in guarding the safety of wild animals.



 





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