Govt Urged to Gazette Traditional Elephant Migratory Corridors (Kenya)
June 13, 2022
MOMBASA: Wildlife and environmental conservationists now want the national
government to gazette elephant migratory corridors in the country to
protect endangered animal and reduce human wildlife conflicts.
The stakeholders were speaking at the Uhuru na Kazi building, Mombasa,
during flagging-off of Tsavo East-Galana-Arabuko-Sokoke Elephant campaign
walk initiated by Jim Justus Nyamu, the Executive Director for Elephant
Neighbors Center (ENC).
The 25 kilometre walk is Jim’s 14th walk since 2013 when he embarked on the
campaign dubbed “Ivory Belongs to Elephants Walk” to raise awareness on the
value of elephants, how to mitigate human- elephant conflict and to raise
awareness on poaching.
The ENC walk is aimed at sensitizing Coast residents on the values of the
animals to the country’s economy, culture and heritage and raise their
awareness of the poaching crisis.
The walk flagged-off by the Mombasa County Commissioner (CC), John Otieno,
is conducted in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Galana
Crocodile Camp, Ministries of Tourism and Wildlife and Interior and
Coordination of National Government.
The 16 days walk covering forested areas in Mombasa and Kilifi counties
also involve members of different rotaries, conservationists,
environmentalists, 65 schools and individuals.
Pollman Tours and Safaris Operations Director, Mohamed Hersi, urged Lands
and Environment and Forestry Ministries, to move with speed and gazette the
traditional migration routes for the elephants.
In the Coast region, illegal settlements and land grabbing have led to
blocking of elephants and other species migratory corridors between Tsavo
East National Park and other forests in Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu
“Research has shown that elephants have remarkable memory to remember
migratory routes, most of which have been affected by human activities. We
urged the lands and environment ministries to gazette all these routes for
the sake of posterity of these important animals in the history and
heritage of our nation,” added Hersi.
The Kenya Tourism Federation (KFT) Board Member noted that settlements on
the migratory corridors have escalated wildlife-animals conflicts in the
region hence posing serious threats to protection of endangered species.
Recent reports indicate the settlements continue to block traditional
migration routes for elephants to Tsavo East National Park.
Nyamu revealed that his campaign walk is informed by movement of 14,000
elephants on that route migrating to best water sources, pasture and
“This is one area that has so many elephants. We have seen the elephants
crossing the Bamba area finding their way to Tsavo East areas. Elephants
move with other species like hyenas and hence the need to raise awareness
to create harmony between wildlife and human beings,” he added.
Nyamu observed that although the National Government has allocated huge
expenditure to compensate victims of human wildlife conflicts can be
minimized by educating citizenry to act responsible towards the animals.
He raised alarm over poaching of dik- diks, gazelles, giraffes, and guinea
fowl and other animals for bush meat trade in Kilifi County.
“It is a sad state of affairs for Kenyans to kill animals like dik-diks who
water from succulents and lush foliage hence affecting animal food chain,
leading to human wildlife conflicts,” he observed.
CC Otieno noted Kenya has made huge steps in addressing killings of the
elephants since the National Government introduced a multi-agency approach
in anti-poaching operations.
The County Commissioner said the collaboration between Kenya and foreign
governments, particularly the United States government, has yielded fruits
including arrest of prime suspects behind ivory trade in the region.
“Elephants conservation is a global campaign and that is why the US and our
government are collaborating in dealing with poaching which also fuels
other crimes like illicit drugs and money laundering,” he added.
Otieno hailed the Tsavo East-Galana-Arabuko-Sokoke Elephant campaign walk
by Nyamu, saying it will go a long way in raising public awareness on the
value of protecting elephants and other wildlife.
“Tourism is a key pillar of our country’s GDP hence there is a need for a
concerted effort to conserve these animals,” he observed.
Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) Coast regional Head of Conservation Samuel
Tokore also hailed the initiative, terming it as a compliment to his
agency’s conservation efforts in the region.
“We have elephant migratory corridors coming from Tsavo West to Tsavo East
down - Arabuko Sokoke forest - Tana River - Lamu and along these corridors
affecting by human activities and this campaign will go a long way in
educating our people on the need to protect our elephants and other
species,” added Samuel.
He revealed that sporadic rains recorded over several parts of the region
come as relief to elephants and other wildlife within the Coast ecosystem,
albeit impact of climate change and drought.