Date Published:

Saturday, December 16, 2017 - 11:45

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) commemorates Conservation Heroes’ Day on December 16th of every year to pay tribute to the country’s conservation heroes.

This is an occasion in the organisation’s calendar of events that is set aside for the country’s conservation fraternity to celebrate in solemn reflection and pride those who dedicate their lives to this worthy cause. Others have paid the ultimate price protecting Kenya’s natural resources.

The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu was represented at this year’s event by Conservation Secretary in the ministry Mr. Gideon Gathara. Each year KWS facilitates families of the departed heroes to join other conservation champions to celebrate their lives at KWS headquarters in Nairobi.

As a sign of recognition and respect for the daunting task of protecting the country’s wildlife, KWS management sanctioned the erection of a ranger’s statue at its headquarters.

The statue signifies honour for serving and fallen heroes in the course of duty. It is a constant reminder of the sacrifices conservationists have to make to secure wildlife for the current and future generations.

To commemorate gallant rangers, KWS has also erected a conservation heroes’ monument with 69 names of departed officers inscribed on it so far.

The bravery of the fallen heroes is something to cherish and proud of. KWS has a continuous force modernization programme geared towards building capacity for its rangers to effectively face conservation challenges.KWS security force continues to grow thanks to government support through the ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

Elaborate training programmes have been developed for the Law Enforcement Academy ( LEA), Manyani to ensure that the Service security personnel have the requisite capacity to protect the country’s wildlife.

KWS is encouraged by the requests it continues to get from neighbouring countries seeking training opportunities for their wildlife conservation personnel at LEA. This is a clear testimony that KWS training programmes are of high quality.

The conservation heroes celebrated on each December 16th are true patriots and role models to those in service, taking care of the country’s wildlife. They are immortalized as true nationalists whose values are worth emulating. KWS empathises with their families, relatives and friends.

KWS continues to collaborate with other local and international institutions to enhance staff capacity to deal with new and emerging challenges of wildlife conservation. The Service is particularly thankful to International Foundation for Nature (NABU), an NGO based in Germany that has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with KWS to support families of security personnel killed in line of duty.

Through the MOU, NABU supports families of fallen heroes, especially in paying school fees for children left behind. During this year’s celebrations, NABU was represented by its Vice President Mr. Thomas Tennhasdt and its international director Mr. Werner Schroder .KWS appeals to other well wishers to come forward and offer assistance to these families.

Long live the spirit of our conservation heroes!