In a significant move to curb the menace of poaching in the region, Kenya staged the biggest ivory burn in the history. President Uhuru Kenyatta led the torching ceremony held in Nairobi National Park where $172 million worth ivories were set on fire. Smoldering the twelve towers of ivories left the sky and surroundings in Nairobi National Park full of smoke and ash.
President of Gabon Ali Bongo, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni ,United Nations officials, conservationists and politicians from the various countries witnessed to the incineration of 105 tonnes of poached tusks.
Mr Kenyatta said while setting alight the stockpile of the ivory that the height of the pile of ivory before us marks the strength of our resolve.”No-one, and I repeat no-one, has any business in trading in ivory, for this trade means death of our elephants and death of our natural heritage,” he said.
“A time has come when we must take a stand and the stand is clear. Kenya is making a statement that, for us, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants.” He added.
According to Kenya’s Wildlife Service the stacks of tusks and rhino horn represent more than 8,000 elephants and some 343 rhinos.
However, a number of conservationists have come forward disagreeing with Kenyan Government’s decision to burn the haul, since it provoke the poachers in East African countries. According to them, torching this amount of millions-worth ivories , will increase its demand and will lead to more killing of elephants.
President of Botswana, who has been of this opinion boycotted the burning ceremony.
It have been decades since the African elephants, which are the varieties of East African countries facing existential problems. According to the sources, 30,000 elephants are being killed every year in the region.
Meantime, the ceremony is the fourth of this kind in Kenya, since it firstly executed in 1989.
Earlier, The Kenyan wildlife authorities had campaigned for this cause on social media using a hash tag #Worthmorelive.
“reason we’re doing this is to send a message that there is [no] intrinsic value in ivory, there is only value in elephants. Anybody who owns ivory, you should be ashamed of yourself. Do not buy ivory,” says Kitili Mbathi, head of the Kenyan Wildlife Service after the burning ceremony.