Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has benefitted from 26 four-wheel drive vehicles donated by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which will be used by its security teams.
The funding is under a programme titled Kenya Wildlife Protection and Conservation Programme (KWPCP) worth 500-million shillings.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony at the KWS headquarters on February 13, 2018, the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala said the vehicles will be deployed in hotspots to deal with criminals who destroy wildlife.
“I’m pleased to flag off these vehicles that will be deployed across the country to boost service delivery and will assist in safeguarding our biodiversity. I have faith that KWS has able staff to put them to the best use,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec who was present at the occasion held at KWS headquarters in Nairobi said that the United States is committed to partnering with Kenya in a bid to conserve the wildlife.
“The United States is pleased to work with the government of Kenya and partner to strengthen Kenya’s capacity to combat poaching and wildlife trafficking and help ensure that communities and wildlife can in fact live together,” the ambassador said.
The acting KWS Director General Mr. Julius Kimani said the vehicles will assist the organisation to discharge its duties diligently as it endeavours to keep the wildlife safe.
“All the vehicles will be deployed for security operations especially the rhino areas and hotspots for animal control. To counter the sophisticated challenges of today, we are matching the use of these vehicles with modern technology to outmatch criminals bent on destroying our precious wildlife,” Kimani said.
According to him, poaching has greatly reduced as only nine rhinos and less than 60 elephants were killed last year.
He said the vehicles will boost the capacity of KWS security teams in the fight against poaching and wildlife insecurity.