Kenya Airways’ Change for Change programme delivers much-needed help for the Kenya Wildlife Service
KQ, working together with international wildlife charity Born Free Foundation, has boosted the fight against rhino poaching in Kenya with a donation of surveillance equipment and funds for training to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
While the equipment includes tents, GPS trackers and binoculars, an additional donation of Ksh350,000 will go towards training rangers in the KWS Rhino Monitoring Team.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Kenya Airways’ Marketing Director Chris Diaz said that the gift demonstrated the airline’s commitment, and that of its partner Born Free Foundation, to support conservation of wildlife.
“The fight against wildlife poaching requires concerted efforts from all of us,” he said. “This is the reason Kenya Airways has chosen to get involved in supporting KWS to fight this vice through skills improvement and equipment.”
Tim Oloo, the Kenya Country Manager of Born Free Foundation, added: “Working together is the only way to succeed in our joint mission to protect and conserve Kenya’s – and indeed the world’s – wildlife heritage for future generations. Rhino are symbolic of that heritage – an ancient species whose current plight is entirely as a result of human greed, superstition and ignorance. It is our responsibility and duty to ensure that this amazing creature is not lost on our watch.
“That is why, in partnership with our good friends at Kenya Airways, and as part of the Change Brings Change programme, we are delighted to be making this strategic contribution to the professional efforts of the dedicated KWS rhino team to enable them to carry out their life-saving job to the very best of their ability”.
The donation was received by Julius Kimani, the Deputy Director of KWS, who lauded the two organisations for the support.
“This equipment and training for rangers will greatly support the conservation of rhinos, which presently face a huge threat from poachers, who are after their horns,” he said. “Last year we lost 59 rhinos to poachers, and, so far, this year 26. This challenge is surmountable with this kind of support.”
The overall goal is to increase the population of black rhinos in Kenya by at least 5% per annum to reach a total of 750 rhinos by the end of 2016.
In October 2013 Kenya Airways and the Born Free Foundation unveiled a new initiative to raise funds for wildlife conservation causes throughout the world dubbed ‘Change Brings Change’.