Ghanaians join global march against poaching (October 7, 2014)

Ghanaians last Saturday joined the rest of the world in a global march to pressurise governments to put in more efforts to end poaching, as fears of the extinction of elephants and rhinoceroses increase.

Scores of people gathered at the Aviation Social Centre in Accra to lend their voice to the global crusade, dubbed ‘the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos.’

The March
Carrying placards with messages including “25,000 rhinos left,” “Save the elephant,” “March against extinction,” “Ban Ivory,” “ Every 15 minutes, one elephant dies,” the participants marched through some principal streets of Accra, including those leading to the 37 Military Hospital, Dr Kumoji Hospital, the Headquarters of the Ghana National Fire Service, Danquah Circle, Morning Star School and the Togo Embassy.  The protest march was also held in 133 other cities around the world.

Before taking to the streets, the organiser of the Accra March, Ms Barbara Bilgre, observed that the poaching business was fuelled by a number of factors including a myth in Asia that when used in traditional medicines, the tusks of rhinos and elephants  improved men’s libido.

She expressed worry that apart from the tacit destruction of wildlife that comes with poaching, money obtained from poaching was going into funding terrorism around the world.

“This is being led by many rebel groups around Africa and these are not people who want to make their country better,” she said.

She said the march was to show that “we are truly becoming global citizens standing up for our wildlife”.

The Ghana situation

The elephant population in Ghana is about 3,000, according to statistics from the Wildlife Division of Ghana’s Forestry Commission.

In the past, Ghana used to kill elephants that went on the rampage on cocoa farms.

But Nana Kofi Adu-Nsiah, the Executive Director of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry
Commission, said that policy was reviewed because it was contributing to the extinction of the animals.

He said the country was doing its best to save its elephants from being poached.

Nana Adu-Nsiah said the country loses an elephant or two annually to either natural death or poaching—a situation he described as far better than what was happening in other countries.

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