By Moses Odhiambo
Wildlife conservationists have raised concern over limited funding to preserve endangered species.
The experts said shortage of funds hindered efforts to institute sufficient measures to stem human encroachment on wildlife habitats.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) senior warden Catherine Wambani said Monday that shortage of funds had made it difficult to end poaching, which is hurting the diversity of wildlife stocks in unprotected sanctuaries and national parks.
She spoke during a boat race to raise funds for protection of the rare sitatunga antelope in Kisumu.
KWS wants to raise Sh35 million to conserve the antelope, whose habitat is around Lake Victoria.
Ms Wambani said that this year’s boat race aims to raise Sh4 million.
She urged players in the tourism sector to join hands to achieve the goal, and also to improve the tour industry through water sports.
“We are committed to raising money to protect the endangered species by introducing protective hedges and enhancing patrols around some of the spots that these animals graze,” said Ms Wambani.
Governor Jackton Ranguma, while flagging off the third edition of the boat race, challenged the government to step up patrols to end poaching not only of the more endangered elephants, but also of the smaller animals.
“We want a holistic approach by the government to ensure that even wildlife targeted by poachers for food is protected,” he said.
The finals of the boat race will be held at the Impala Sanctuary in Kisumu on Friday.