Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Board of Trustees to make moves that will help the state corporation execute its mandate to conserve and manage Kenya’s wildlife.
Speaking when he met members of the KWS Board of Trustees at State House in the capital of Nairobi, President Kenyatta vowed to support their efforts.
The Board was led by their Chairman Dr. John Waithaka and accompanied by Kenya’s Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.
“You have my support and I will offer any assistance you require. But you must consolidate your efforts in ensuring KWS succeeds in delivering its mandate including turning it into a profit-making entity,” President Kenyatta told the Board.
Kenya’s services sector, which contributes about 63% of GDP, is dominated by tourism. In the late 1980s the sector had become the country’s principal source of foreign exchange.
In 2018 Kenya’s tourist arrivals grew by over 37% from 2017, earning the country Ksh157 billion (about $1.56 million).
However, in recent years, Kenya’s wildlife has been under threat from human settlements. Elephants and lions, for instance, have been known to either trample vegetation and fences or attack people’s cattle in rural areas. The KWS has been working to resolve these conflicts, as it looks for ways to ensure man and wildlife coexist.
In a recent address, President Kenyatta urged the Board to put in place measures that will curb human-wildlife conflicts.
In response, the Board assured the President of their commitment to wildlife protection. The Board also promised to ensure the efficient running of parks and wildlife conservancies across the country.
The Board has already put together a dedicated management team that is implementing measures to ensure revenue growth within Kenya’s Wildlife sector.