Yesterday, the Aviation police in Entebbe recovered a huge consignment of ivory that was being smuggled into the country. According to media reports, this is the fourth time such a haul of contraband is recovered this year.
In Africa illegal ivory trade has led to diminishing numbers of elephants in the wild and according to reports, in the ten years between 1979 and 1989, the population of the African elephant had gone down from 1.3 million to 600.000.
Much as the world is up in arms against poaching and dealing in illegal trade of ivory, in Uganda some cartels still find it easy to connive with mid-level personnel involved in the protection of endangered species and these then evade the law enforcement agencies, something that has had adverse effects on the careers of some personalities.
For instance, last year, the Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority Dr Andrew Sseguya was sent on forced leave after about 3000 kilogrammes of ivory disappeared from the vaults.
Dr Sseguya is one of the few experts this country has produced, whose involvement in the conservation of fauna and flora is not in question. He has also had a distinguished career right from his days at the Uganda Wildlife Educational Centre in Entebbe, and it would have been unfortunate if the country had lost his services because of some unscrupulous mid-level officer.
That noted, as the country steps up its efforts to combat the illegal dealing in ivory, there is need for all stakeholders to stick to their work ethics, something that will help reduce on the ivory trafficking vice.
That is why the Airport Police deserve commendation for a job well done!