Wildlife Principal Secretary (PS) Silvia Museiya has launched a project in Amboseli to conserve critical wildlife corridors and enhance the lives of the local people by ensuring increased benefits from conservation.
The project is part of a transboundary project being implemented in Tanzania and Kenya with funding from the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation.
At the launch, PS Museiya urged the four Kenyan organizations that are implementing the project to ensure that human-wildlife conflict in the area is reduced and water access is improved in protected areas.
“For me, the number one priority is human-wildlife conflict mitigation (HWC). Last month, we lost 38 people to HWC. That is a huge distraction to our success. Water must be provided for wildlife. In your project design, include water access inside protected spaces," said Museiya.
The PS made the appeal to the four organizations implementing the project, WWF-Kenya, African Conservation Centre, Amboseli Ecosystem Trust and Kenya Wildlife Conservancies, whose bosses were in attendance at the project launch.
Dubbed Masterplan and models for a large-scale transboundary conservation and sustainable development in Kenya, the Ksh 424 million project seeks to contribute to Kenya’s efforts to implement wildlife corridor and dispersal area strategies while benefiting the livelihoods of people living in the corridors.
“This project is a green wildlife corridors project. Conservation will be one of the outcomes. We must attend to the needs of women, children, the elderly and the communities who live here," said Mohamed Awer, the Chief Executive Officer, WWF-Kenya.
In the three years of implementation, the project will restore 200 hectares of rangeland and ensure that 1,500 hectares are under grazing management plans. It will also establish a model cattle breed farm, an eco-friendly tannery and a dairy cooperative for women in Amboseli.
"It is good to see that Unganisha is wanted here in Kenya and Tanzania, in governments and hopefully by the people living on the ground of the programme area, and that they benefit. It's important that the programme is nothing from the outside, but your programme,” said Guido Reuter, the Head of Civil Society Cooperation at the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation.
The project launch was attended by top officials from the National Land Commission, among them Commissioners Prof James Tuitoek, Reginald Okumu and Chief Executive Officer Kabale Tache. Others at the launch were the Kajiado South MP Samuel Sakimba Parashina, Kajiado County Executive Committee Member for Environment Dr Leina Mpoke, and representatives from the Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service.