By Nqobile Tshili
Preparations for the inaugural 500km elephant and rhino anti-poaching awareness walk are gathering momentum with the corporate sector pledging support for the initiative.The sponsored walk from Matopo to Victoria Falls is set for May this year with more than 1000 people expected to participate.
Bulawayo-based professional game guide Sam Nkomo is the brains behind the initiative which has received backing from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate.
On Monday, Bulawayo’s Style International Clothing firm pledged to donate safety clothing for the participants.
The company’s general manager, Rakesh Maugi, said his firm would supply shirts, pairs of trousers, jackets and caps to the participants.
“We want to be part of this walk. It is a noble idea and we have to support it. Many animals have been killed and no one has done anything about it,” he said.
The sponsored walk is meant to raise awareness about the rampant poaching in the country’s national parks. The move follows concerns over the killing of more than 100 elephants through cyanide poisoning at the Hwange National Park last year.
“The poisoning of elephants is a problem that needs to be solved. I thought organising a walk from Matopo to Victoria Falls will give us the opportunity to educate communities along the way about the importance of preserving wild life species,” he said.
“We expect to attract more than 1000 people to this event. This will include pupils from schools, prominent figures such as Miss Earth Zimbabwe, football legends and other people who have done a similar walks in their countries.”
Nkomo said invitations have already been sent to schools in Matabeleland North and South to participate in the event.