By Joseph Muraya
The recently unveiled inter-agency anti-poaching unit comprising officers from specialised elements of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Administration Police and the General Service Unit will strengthen the fight against poaching.
KWS spokesperson Paul Muya told Capital FM News that setting up the agency demonstrates the government’s commitment in ensuring that wildlife is safe.
He said that KWS was working with other conservation stakeholders to ensure that the war is won.
He revealed: “In 2012, the country lost 384 elephants and 29 rhinos to poaching. So far in 2013 we have lost 190 elephants and 34 rhinos. We are disturbed by rhino poaching which has reached a crisis situation given that we have only 1,025 rhinos in the country.”
“The escalating poaching crisis has become both a national security issue as well as an economic one. Urgent and decisive actions need to be taken to reverse this trend,” he noted.
Muya said with KWS managing approximately 8 percent of the total landmass of Kenya that consists of 22 national parks, 29 national reserves and four national sanctuaries including six marine national reserves and four marine national parks, it needs more resources.
“There are also 125 field stations scattered across the country for management of wildlife outside the protected area system,” he added.
“This expansive sphere of operations has overstretched the capability of the current wildlife protection staff currently standing at 2,800 uniformed officers.” More....