By Duncan Bwire [Letter to Editor\
Last week, we were treated to drama as our MPs shamelessly engaged in fist fights over a controversial security Bill, which was passed, nonetheless.
The Bill had nothing to do with addressing the ailing wildlife sector.
Deteriorating security alone cannot be blamed for the woes in the sector, as wildlife is threatened by poaching and many other factors.
Of the stories I have come across on wildlife in Kenya, only a handful pay attention to the wildlife problem, yet it is the backbone of our economy.
Most news items only appear when a poaching act has been committed. The tourism sector is on its knees, with hotels registering low bookings.
The secret to restoring confidence in our tourism lies in the proper management of our wildlife. The animals are decreasing at an alarming rate due to poaching, human-wildlife conflict and how KWS deals with stray wild animals.
Poachers seem better armed than our game rangers. Poor pay could also be luring the rangers into colluding with poachers.
On human-wildlife conflict, KWS sometimes shoots dead stray animals and allows hungry villagers to feast on the carcasses when immobilisation and gentle relocation back to their habitat could have been the wiser choice. Securing wild habitats should be among top government priorities.
I was distressed after reading an AFP article titled ‘Scientists seek to grow test tube rhino using Kenya animal’s DNA’ (Saturday Nation, December 20, 2014). The white rhino is on the verge of extinction. Only five exist in the world — (one in California, one in Czech Republic and two females and a male in Kenya).
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, it is poaching that has wiped out the species.
Kenya ought to resort to drastic measures to tame rising wildlife insecurity if she wants to continue to enjoy the fruits of wildlife conservation.
New laws to contain poachers will be a step in the right direction. Civic education should be launched to educate communities living around national parks and game reserves on the consequences of poaching and the importance of the animals.
And rangers should earn proper salaries and get better housing. Our wildlife is the backbone of our economy.