Mike David Terungwa, Head of GIFSEP, is pleased to announce that in March 2020 his team will start the first project in Nigeria to empower communities to work with The Manatee as they face an uncertain future stronger, together. We shall work with communities along the Benue River and tributaries in Benue State, adopting The West African Manatee as the large mammal chosen to be their symbol of the struggle against the impacts of Climate Change. Together, we shall find new ways of working the land and raising fish stocks to the benefit of future generations. Nigeria is privileged to be one of a few countries in the world to play host to African Manatee (Trichechus senegalensis). Sadly, a victim of human encroachment and habitat destruction, the African Manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) is already on The International Red List as at risk of extinction. On River Benue, these gentle giants overcome their usual shyness to regularly entertain locals and travelers with their presence on the river, as it meanders to the Niger and out into The Atlantic Ocean. Today we are appalled by the news that the major existential threat to Nigeria’s Manatee is death inflicted directly by people. Today we invite you to support:
If these were elephants in Kenya, gorillas in Rwanda or giraffe in Botswana
there would be massive public outcry and swift and enforced legal protection.
In the absence of state intervention, our plan is to go further and instead enable
people and wildlife to work together and discover how to become a Human Nature
Community, a permanent solution to the real and present, known and unknown
dangers to both Man and the Manatee. From
village banter to internet cafés; forums for fishermen, farmers and women; men,
young and old, families, a single shared goal – the survival and continual social,
environmental and economic stabilisation of the River Benue Valley – its own
centre of sustainability and quality of life.