On a misty cool morning, among hundreds of supporters, Honeyguide Foundation celebrated Nyerere Day by joining the Elephant March through Arusha.
The peaceful protest called for an end to the international trade in ivory and rhino horn, a crackdown on the senseless killing of wild animals for such trophies, and stricter laws against poaching in Tanzania.
While the world observed Elephant March Day on October 4, Tanzania moved the event to coincide with Nyerere Day, a public holiday in honor of Tanzania’s Father of Nation and first president, Julius “Mwalimu” Nyerere, who passed away 15 years ago on October 14, 1999.
“The survival of our wildlife is a matter of grave concern to all of us in Africa,” so once said Nyerere. “These wild creatures amid the wild places they inhabit are not only important as a source of wonder and inspiration, but are an integral part of our natural resources and our future livelihood and well being. In accepting the trusteeship of our wildlife, we solemnly declare that we will do everything in our power to make sure that our children’s grand-children will be able to enjoy this rich and precious inheritance.”
Honeyguide sponsored some 20 rangers and village game scouts from Enduimet WMA, Burunge WMA, Randilen WMA, and Manyara Ranch to attend the momentous march. An additional 16 Honeyguide employees also joined them.
Head trainer, John Magembe, even took to the main float alongside poet extraordinaire and Bongo Flava star, Mpoto. Many of the rangers and scouts walked beside primary school students from their areas down the route that started at the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) headquarters and ended in the heart of Arusha town at Amani Abeid Karume Stadium.
Tanzania’s Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu, served as the guest of honor for the Elephant March and gave a rousing speech in the stadium at the event’s conclusion. He stressed that the government was absolutely resolved to combat poaching and has been putting more boots on the ground and planning to launch the new Wildlife Authority to provide more effective administration over the preservation of wildlife and other natural resources.