KENYA SETS ABLAZE LARGEST IVORY STOCKPILE IN AN EFFORT TO CURB POACHING

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By Nicholas Njau

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta at the weekend destroyed what is believed to be the largest ivory stockpile in the world to date weighing around 100 tonnes and estimated to be worth around $500m. in a move aimed at curbing wanton poaching that has seen the worlds jumbo population dwindle alarmingly in the last decade.

Accompanied by renowned wildlife conservators and delegates, the, president urged that a single live elephant is much more resourceful than tonnes on ivory put together. With the president were Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni, Gabons president Ali Bongo Odimba amongst Hollywood actors and actresses.

The stockpile weighing about 100 tonnes and representing about 6700 elephants and 380 rhinos could actually stretch to a distance of about 60 kilometers when arranged tip to tip.

However there were reservations for the mode of disposal applied by Kenya with critics arguing that burning the ivory could actually create a scarcity for the commodity and hence push demand that would see the commodity become highly sought after. Botswana was the most vocal critic of the Kenyan approach and argued that Kenya should have considered employing the method they applied 4 years ago when they then established a life size sculptor of an elephant assembled purely with elephant tusks.

But Kenyatta remained adamant saying that Kenya was not part and would not become a part of those who are trying to control demand and supply in this illicit business.

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