WORTH SH35 MILLION

Patrol cars, motorcycles to boost war on poaching

Wildlife PS Segor says Masai Mara and Tsavo landscapes are the last frontiers for wildlife and need to be guarded

In Summary

•The Sh430 million ($3.8 million) project is financed by GEF through UNDP and benefits from parallel co-financing by the government, Narok, Taita county governments and key wildlife associations.

•The total project cost is Sh2.2 billion ($19 million) and will run until 2024.”

JUMBO BOOM: Elephants and their calves at Amboseli. Image: AMBOSELI TRUST FOR ELEPHANTS
JUMBO BOOM: Elephants and their calves at Amboseli. Image: AMBOSELI TRUST FOR ELEPHANTS

Wildlife Principal Secretary Fred Segor has unveiled five patrol cars and 20 motorcycles worth Sh35 million to boost the war on poaching of iconic species.

Sugor said they will benefit the Maasai Mara Tsavo landscape as part of the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund through United Nations Development Programme project.

The PS spoke on Monday at the Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters. 

The project is aimed at curbing poaching and wildlife trafficking in Kenya.

“The Sh430 million ($3.8 million) project is financed by GEF through UNDP and benefits from parallel co-financing by the government, Narok, Taita county governments and key wildlife associations,” he said.

“The total project cost is Sh2.2 billion ($19 million) and will run until 2024.”

The PS said the two Masai Mara and Tsavo landscapes are the last frontiers for wildlife and need to be guarded.

He said 61 elephants and three Rhinos were poached in the Maasai Mara and Tsavo ecosystems in 2016.

“These numbers have reduced to five elephants and zero rhinos,” Segor said.

“The project will ensure these numbers remain low by strengthening the capacity of project partners, by providing the necessary equipment and support to protect our wildlife.”

KWS  received two vehicles and four motorbikes for use in the Tsavo Conservation area, while Narok received two vehicles for use in the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

The Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association received one vehicle and 10 motorbikes for use in the conservancies forming the buffer zone around the Masai Mara National Reserve.

The Taita Taveta Wildlife Conservancies Association received six motorbikes for use across the Taita-Taveta Ranches.

Segor said as part of the establishment of a multi-agency anti-poaching task force in the Maasai Mara and two wildlife security hubs in Tsavo, the provision of these vehicles and motorbikes is the first step in facilitating local stakeholders in the regions.

“The much-needed resources will increase their capacity to coordinate pre-emptive and responsive efforts in the fight against poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking,” the PS said.

He said the initiative is led by the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife as the implementing partner and prescribes a long-term solution in the Maasai Mara and Tsavo landscapes.

This, he said, is through a highly coordinated approach within and between wildlife management and law enforcement entities, county governments, and wildlife conservancies established by communities.

Segor said the event marks a critical step towards increasing the effectiveness of protected areas, conservancies, and local law enforcement agencies to reduce poaching and wildlife trafficking. 

The PS said a multi-agency approach has seen poaching numbers reduce, and the government was keen on curbing poaching.

He said no rhino was killed last year but five elephants were killed.

The PS said the capacity of KWS rangers will be modernised for poaching to end.

Edited by Kiilu Damaris