By: Yusuf M Hasan
GODAWEYNE (Somalilandsun) – Numerous species of wildlife in Godaweyne district are faced with imminent extinction as a result of rampant poaching.
This hue and cry was jointly raised Godaweyne local council and traditional leaders who also made a public warning in which they averred that “anybody found engaging in poaching activities in Godaweyne district of Sahil region in Somaliland shall have residents to contend with”
Godaweyne home to an assorted wildlife is a district in Sahil region of Somaliland whose Ilaan division where poaching activities are mostly undertaken borders both Toghdeer and Odweyne regions which are the conduit routes of transporting the poached animals to markets.
According to the Godaweyne district commissioner Abdilahi Abdi Ali residents fearful of the negative impact that poaching entails wildlife existence and local environment said residents are resolved in complete cessation of the illegal activities by taking law enforcement into their hands in lieu of action and immediate at that by central government in Hargeisa.
While poachers are known to pursue possession of cheetahs the uncontrolled capture and subsequent export of the Spurred and Leopard tortoises which is a rare species of tortoise unique to Somaliland as well as the Rare Berbera lion both of which are common in the Godaweyne area is quite worrisome.It is not clear why poachers continue to operate at will considering that the ministry of environment and rural development had decree zero tolerance with the illegal acquisition and subsequent export of wildlife as far back as September 2013.
In her warning to poachers the minister of environment Ms. Shukri Haji Bandare stated that “Illegal Export of Wildlife must be stomped completely through arrests and prosecution of poachers in all parts of country”. To date not a single poacher has been arrested despite cases like the current one from Godaweyne.
In the past a number of poachers have been caught red handed and much made of their prosecution that has so far ensued with nothing but talk thence hoped that the environmentally conscious Ms. Shukri Bandare shall ensure that legal action is not only presumed to be but actually taken against any who is found to have contravened laws of the country and more specifically her 2013 ban order.
Hopefully action will be taken to avert a situation like the 2011 one revolving around the two three-month-old lion rare Berbera lion cubs that were rescued aboard ship destined for market in Dubai.
An interesting read for those with interest for deeper understanding is available from a IUCN Eastern Africa Programme study report of May 2000 titled “An Ecological Assessment of the Coastal Plains of Somaliland”