Fall in revenue stalls KWS
Story by MUCHEMI WACHIRA and KENNEDY SENELWA
11. March 2008
Kenya Wildlife Service is finding it difficult to carry out
conservation projects planned for this year following a sharp
decline in revenue collection.
“Our wildlife is now at risk. If tourists don’t come to visit our
game parks and national parks, we shall not have anything with
which to protect these animals,” the KWS communication manager, Mr
Paul Udoto, said Monday.
Mr Udoto said since the post-election violence started, after the
announcement of presidential election results on December 30, most
tourists have kept away from Kenya.
As a result, all conservation projects that KWS had lined up to
improve national parks, game parks and national reserves have been
Even projects meant to protect wildlife from poachers have been
KWS had planned to buy 200 vehicles for anti-poaching patrols.
They also wanted to buy more firearms and uniforms for their
“We had also planned to conduct research on wildlife and set up a
genetic and forensic laboratory.
“Unfortunately, all these projects cannot go on for lack of money,”
Mr Udoto, who spoke to the Daily Nation by telephone, said.
At the weekend, Unep executive director Achim Steiner raised
concern over the problems KWS is facing after tourists stopped
In a press statement, Mr Steiner expressed concern that KWS, which
had last year earned US$28 million, is now unable to carry out its
conservation projects aimed at promoting tourism.
Tourism has remained one of the main foreign exchange earners for
Following the post-election violence, Mr Steiner noted in his
statement, at least 25,000 people, directly employed in
tourism-related industries, have lost their jobs.
Mr Steiner was, however, making efforts to appeal to people in the
outside world to visit Kenya to see its flora and fauna as peace
had been restored.
The prevailing calm followed the recent peace accord between
President Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga, which was brokered by former
UN secretary-general Kofi Annan and his team. President Kibaki and
Mr Odinga, the Prime Minister-designate, jointly made a similar
appeal on Sunday when they visited Karen Golf Club in Nairobi
during the Tusker Kenya Open Golf Championship.
The two leaders, who spent the day together assured the
international community that Kenya is now stable.
And they passionately appealed to tourists worldwide to visit the
country, saying the chaos caused by the outcome of the December
elections is now a thing of the past.
Since KWS cannot sit and wait until tourists start trickling in to
get money for carrying out its conservation projects, Mr Udoto
said they are now targeting domestic tourists. “We are carrying
out an aggressive campaign, telling Kenyans to come and enjoy our
facilities during this Easter holiday,” he said.