County leaders and civil societies in Northern Kenya region have vowed to support the community conservancies in the area to arrest the rising poaching. Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo said wildlife poaching poses a challenge to tourism in the region and the country adding that security within and beyond the conservancies should be beefed up.
“As you well know, poaching is on the rise in Kenya, security remains a grave concern even in the well-protected community conservancies,” he said. Samburu deputy Governor Joseph Lemarkat said the Northern Rangelands Trust, an umbrella organisation for 26 member community conservancies has greatly contributed to combating poaching in the region.
He added that the organisation has trained and equipped 620 community rangers to protect residents and wildlife in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the police officers and created a hospitable environment to wildlife.
The two leaders said that the conservancies have facilitated private investment and eco-tourism as well as improving livelihoods of pastoralist communities through income diversification, conflict resolution between groups and reduction of human-wildlife conflict.
They spoke during the handing over ceremony of two security patrol vehicles to the Naibunga Conservancy in Laikipia and Mpus Kutuk Conservancy in Isiolo by Usaid director Karen Freeman yesterday. She said the agency will continue working together with the Northern Rangelands Trust to combat poaching, reduce human wildlife conflicts and improve the economic development of the communities in the region.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the NRT to see better of economic development of people through wildlife and natural resource conservation, livestock development, and women’s enterprises,” she said. She also added that the future of the Kenya’s wildlife depends on the people who live in wildlife dispersal areas and appealed to the government to support the community conservancies’ model.