Aga Khan University urges communities to secure a future for Grevy’s Zebras

Aga Khan University urges communities to secure a future for Grevy’s Zebras

(L to R) Andrew Tkach, Director of Environmental Reporting Programme, GSMC and Executive producer of GNV, Simon Mukali, Saving Stripes Filmmaker and Prof. Rhonda Breit, Associate Dean, GSMC, at the documentary screening of Saving Stripes.

The Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC) and Giving Nature a Voice premiered a documentary themed Saving Stripes on August 9 2018 at the University’s campus in Westlands. The documentary follows the bravery of local community members who have volunteered as Grevy’s Zebra scouts, warriors and ambassadors to address specific threats to this endangered animal and change the local community’s attitudes to conservation.

The premier brought together environmental experts, local community members and warriors and stakeholders in government and private sector to speak in one voice to call for the conservation of the endangered Grevy’s Zebras. In recent years, despite less than half of its population in protected areas, the Grevy’s zebra has recorded the sharpest recent decline in numbers of any African mammal – from 15,000 in the 1970s to just 2,350 today. Currently, the zebras are only found in Kenya and Ethiopia.

GSMC Director of the Environmental Reporting Programme and the Executive Producer of Giving Nature a Voice (GNV), Andrew Tkach, in his remarks acknowledged the efforts by the local scouts and highlighted his desire to see Kenyans and ultimately the human race in any part of the world embrace environmental conservation and to do so in a more practical manner.

“When I first started working on Giving Nature a Voice, I heard that Africans don’t care about the environment. Today however, that perception has been shifted by the reality of the true importance our environment plays in the daily lives of local communities”, he said.

The documentary, which also opened the third season for the series GNV that was recently recognized as the Best non-fiction TV Series at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, is scheduled to begin broadcast on August 12th 2018 from 6pm on NTV and will highlight environmental crises in Kenya, Tanzania, Congo and Burundi. “GNV’s weekly half hour shows explore environmental issues from an East African perspective, and are all created by East African filmmakers”, said Tkach.

The keynote speakers were Sheila Funnel (Research Manager, Grevy’s Zebra Trust) Ngeeti Lempate (Grevy’s Zebra Scout), Andrew Letura (Wamba Regional Coordinator, GZT) and George Anyona (National Grevy’s Zebra Liaison Officer, Kenya Wildlife Service).