Kenya has in the last one year recorded an impressive number of rhino births, with 17 white and 14 black rhino new borns. Meru National Park has in particular witnessed a boom of births, welcoming nine calves since the beginning of this year.
Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala broke the good news June 24, 2020 when he made an extensive tour of Meru conservation area, with four stops in the expansive region; two in the park and two others at the County headquarters of Meru and Tharaka Nithi.
The CS commended KWS staff in Meru National Park for their dedication in protecting the endangered species. He particularly singled our rangers deployed at Meru Park rhino sanctuary for their exemplary dedication to duty. This, he noted, has ensured maximum protection and thus made the sanctuary a vibrant breeding ground for rhinos.
Balala who was accompanied by top ministry and KWS officials unveiled a naming exercise at the sanctuary which saw calves named by dignitaries in his entourage. He personally named two calves after his grandchildren Waliya (female) and Layan (male). The PS for state department of wildlife Prof. Fred Segor named another calf Rotok after his son.
Others who named new born rhino calves were chairman of parliamentary committee on environment and natural resources Kareke Mbiuki who named another calf Mark after his son. Chief Administrative Secretary for tourism and wildlife, Joseph Boinet named a calf Barango after his village, while KWS Director General Brig. (Rtd) John Waweru named yet another calf Nyathomo after his daughter. Each of them will pay KSh 100,000 which the CS said will go towards improving the welfare of rangers deployed in the sanctuary.
Later, Balala officially commissioned construction of a 53km fence which covers the Southern Meru National Park boundary. The Sh. 96 million fence is part of the strategic measures KWS is taking to stem human wildlife conflict. The CS who addressed a public meeting attended by Tharaka Nithi leaders at the park’s Ura gate announced the payment of Sh. 230,000 to compensate victims of human wildlife conflict in the County in addition to Ksh 15M paid earlier.