NCF, SSDO Create Awareness On Conservation Of Vultures In Enugu

The Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) and South Sahara Social Development Organisation (SSDO) have carried out a walk and sensitisation of residents of Enugu State on need to conserve vultures.

The walk, which is meant to commemorate the International Vulture Day 2022 titled: “A Mile for Egyptian Vulture”, witnessed sensitisation within major roads in Enugu metropolis for several hours on Thursday.

Speaking after the walk, Dr Joseph Onoja, Director-General of NCF, said the awareness was about conserving vultures, especially the red headed and Egyptian vultures, which had been seriously threatened in the country.

Onoja, represented by Mr Oladapo Soneye, Head Communications of NCF, said that vultures had become endangered species within the wild life eco-system in Nigeria.

He said that recently vultures had been killed in their hundreds daily within the country especially in rural communities.

“Today, we want to change the narrative of killing vultures, destroying their inhabitant, seeing vultures as an animal with bad omen.

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“All these practices and believe are wrong and leads to the depletion of this natural helpful animal.

“Vulture remains helpful and essential in the eco-system to ensure carcasses of animals are eaten up and the activities of bacteria and other pathogens are effectively checked.

“With their helpful work, there is reduced health burden caused by the activities of pathogens as well as reduce economic expenses for individuals, families and communities,” he said.

Speaking, the Head of Programmes in SSDO, Mr Udochukwu Egwim, said the economic and health benefits of allowing the vulture do their naturally assigned role of environmental cleaning agents cannot be over-emphasised.

Egwim noted that vultures ensure the “essential balance in the eco-system” and do much by their activities to protect life both of humans and animals in a given environment.

“We are on this to ensure that as change agent, which SSDO stands for, we ensure that our people do the right thing and ensure that international best practices meant to benefit every human on earth is done,” he said.

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Egwim noted that it was unfortunate that about 150 vultures were found dead in Ihe community in Awgu Local Government Area of the state about two years ago.

“SSDO has carried investigation on the matter and did awareness with the residents of the community on vultures’ protection as well as set up a vulture volunteer watch group.

“The protection group, made up of hunters, farmers, youths and traditional authority, will watch-over and preserve vultures in the community henceforth and report any threat to NCF and SSDO,” he said.

Chief Levi Idoko, Coordinator of Wash and Sanitation and Health (WASH) in Igboeze North Local Government Area, said the awareness was laudable to help preserve wild life in general in Enugu State.

Idoko, who also joined in the walk, said: “We must rise to positively check the habit of hunting and eating bush meat by our people and thereby endangering lives of wild animals and distorting their inhabitants”.

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The over 250 participants for the walk, who later listened to animal conservation talks, had in its attendance students, youth groups, non-governmental organizations and media practitioners.