The African Daily Voice
Malawi is educating primary school pupils about the importance of protecting elephants and rhinos, African Daily Voice has learnt.
Pioneered by Otharhaka Charity Foundation, the initiative is meant to raise awareness for the protection of the two endangered species.
According to media, elephants and rhinos are heavily poached in Malawi and across the world for their ivory and horns that are reported to be fetching huge prices on many markets worldwide.
Programmes Director for Othakarhaka Ted Mwango recently told media that the Foundation, in collaboration with the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, decided to engage primary school learners in the symbolic restoration of homes for the animals in order for them to understand the poverty in which the animals are living in the country.
“We know we do not have elephants and rhinos here in Mulanje but we also know that these children will not grow up and die here,” said Mwango.
“There are possibilities that when they grow up they might move to other places where they will live close to these animals, so we want them to grow up feeling responsible over these animals so that even in the future they should not turn into enemies of these species and contribute to their poaching that has been happening in Malawi and across Africa.”
A head teacher from Nkanda primary school, Justin Kachala, who spoke to media commended the organisation for the insightful initiative which he said was an eye-opener to most of the learners.
“Most of the students were not aware of the dangers that elephants and rhinos are living in across the world because such information is not handy in their daily class lessons, hence the importance of holding such an awareness event.
“Through this initiative pupils have learnt some new about the elephants and rhinos. These young people will definitely grow up keeping that information in their minds and we can be assured that one way or the other today we have managed to save the life of a certain elephant or rhino in the future through this brief awareness,” said Kachala.
According to Safari Bookings, apart from elephants and rhinos, currently the list of most endangered animal species in Africa includes Ethiopian Wolfs, Pangolins and Mountain Gorillas among others.