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Pollution in Pictures from Olonde Omondi

Olonde Omondi offers 4 more images with a hard-hitting environmental theme. Olonde Omondi has a Diploma in Graphic Design and enjoys expressing himself in a variety of styles all based on realistic interpretation of our world. Major areas of interest include cartoons and caricature, graphic art and illustration as well as painting. Art history and poetry also play substantial roles in his art.

Creative Commons License
This work by Olonde Omondi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this licence are available from smudgetrial2@yahoo.com.

Olonde Omondi draws recycling

A holder of a Diploma in Graphic Design, Olonde Omondi enjoys expressing himself in a variety of styles all based on realistic interpretation of our world. Major areas of interest include cartoons and caricature, graphic art and illustration as well as painting. Art history and poetry also play substantial roles in his art.

Creative Commons License
This work by Olonde Omondi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available at smudgetrial2@yahoo.com.

 

Vain Deaths

That a president of a developing country that has to depend on donor funds to meet their yearly budget, personally sets natures resources worth billions ablaze is very ironic. I can even call it sad. A resource that has a readily available market, that caused the death of thousands of our wildlife, should never be wasted that way again.

President Kibaki sets ivory on fire

President Kibaki sets ivory on fire

Does it not matter at all that an elephant, or a rhino was murdered somewhere in cold blood, for one to have mercilessly cut off their tusks with the intention of enriching themselves by selling them in the Asian black market? According to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, about 36,500 elephants are killed in Africa alone every year by a set of serial killers we have christened poachers. A little of the ivory acquired by this heinous act is intercepted at the airports, and is ‘confiscated’. Part of it kept as exhibit for the prosecution of the persons found with it. What we see later in our country is a huge stack of ivory worth billions of shillings ceremoniously being burned by the president, in the presence of other very influential learned people of excellent economic and environmental knowledge.

Billions up in flames

Billions up in flames

How I sincerely wish that things were a little different. I wish that once such cargo is intercepted, it is not confiscated but stored. That the offender be not remanded for months on end before prosecution and trial, but to be convicted within shortest time possible. Let it be known that such cases shall not be amongst those that will drag in the courts forever. There should be no freeing poachers or illegal ivory traders on bond, unless under very special circumstances that will require very convincing backup. Punishment for such offenders should not be less than ten years behind bars.

 

Most important though is the stored ivory. It doesn’t change anything by burning them, does it? Bad cannot be paid by worse if our aim is to see positive progress. By burning, the dead elephants and rhinos from which these tusks were removed will have died in vain. If we really care to reduce, and even stop poaching, it would be of better sense to honor their deaths by protecting their surviving kin. We could go ahead and legally sell the ivory by a process of international bidding and selling them to the buyer attaching highest value to them. The sums acquired from the sale can then be used to improve measures being put to protect wildlife, like research, securing park perimeters, hiring more rangers and equipping them to effectively deal with poachers. This way, there truly will be progress in curbing poaching, and the shame of burning billions when we desperately need them will be no more.

Burning will not stop poaching, I dare say. There should be no pride in burning ivory.

Olivia, the 7year Old Zoologist

Seven year Old Olivia Binfield stands before thousands to send a message with Lucy, her snake coiled around her little neck. She thinks she wants to become a zoologist when she grows up; but she doesn’t have to wait that long; she is one of the best zoologists already, and the best poet too.

Olivia and her Lucy on the stage

Watch her as she tells you why she thinks "man's such a fool." Olivia asks that you may listen to her "passion, although it may not be in fashion." She is the voice of all the endangered animal species.

 

 

Gullies of Poverty; Baringo and Kerio valleys

Soil erosion, environmental degradation, desertification, climate change all sound synonymous. But are they? Not really, but they are all parasites that feed almost the same way.

Exposed roots due to extensive erosion

Exposed roots due to extensive erosion

I’ll let pictures speak for Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet counties. Degradation there, and particularly soil erosion, is at massive scales. The rills have turned into death traps for livestock and the larger gullies highways for the nutrient rich top soil that ends up in the Kerio River and the Lake Kamnarok. Poverty level continues to rise in Kerio Valley.

Deep gullies are highways to the Rivers and Lakes

Deep gullies are highways to the Rivers and Lakes

 

 

The results? Siltation and the subsequent effects. As we speak the lake is becoming smaller, and a less favorite spot for the wildlife (elephants especially) that loved to quench their thirst there for fear of getting stuck in the muddy shores.

 

High siltation in Kerio River

High siltation in Kerio River

Is hope really lost here? Is this place damaged beyond repair? Really? The degradation has been going on for years, but no one seems to notice. I see people run to rehabilitate other places that aren’t really bad and I’m left wondering why they keep neglecting this. UNCCD has it’s focus on prevention of land degradation and desertification. World Agroforestry Center is a close partner. We have the Vetiver Network in our midst. The UNEP headquarters is in our city? Let us pool resources and convert this place into one breathtaking sight of nature.