Poaching risks Kenya’s billion dollar tourism industry
In the last two years, both elephants known for their ivory and rhinos for their horn are reaching the brink of extinction prompting uproar from both the government and tourism handlers.
Fingers are now being pointed to Kenya’s recent close business ties with countries from the far east key among them China, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan which currently come out as the key destinations for ivory consignments from Kenya. Just last week, the Kenya Revenue Authority ( KRA) intercepted a container with ivory estimated at $10 million at the portof Mombasa in what will seriously cast doubts on the government efforts aimed at taming the vice. The most recent catch, a 40-foot container, was destined for Malaysia and disguised as groundnuts head for export. The interception comes hot on the heels of another bust up that saw a joint operation by the KRA, Kenya Wildlife Service ( KWS), port police and the Kenya Ports Authority that netted 1,476.4kg all packed in a 20-foot container at the same port. It is feared that Kenya could face a total extinction of the elephant population in the next two years if the current frequency and magnitude is not stopped.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared a total war on poaching:
“Poaching is a serious threat to the future of not only Kenya’s tourism but even other sustainability efforts in the country. We call on all relevant authorities to address this issue with the seriousness it deserves,” says Herbert Obala an animal rights activist and conservationist.
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