The government owes victims of human-wildlife conflict Sh14 billion in unsettled claims, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has said.
Mr Balala now wants Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to come up with innovative ways to raise funds to settle the claims and finance other conservation activities instead of depending on the government.
He said this at the Watamu during the launch of the KWS strategic plan for 2021 to 2024.
“The use of technology and digitisation of our working environment will be key in ensuring we make money over our investment and give priority to enterprise,” he said.
He was accompanied by the Principal Secretary for Wildlife Fred Segor, KWS Director General John Waweru, KWS Director Strategy Edwin Wanyonyi and KWS board of management led by its chair Betty Maitoyo.
Brigadier (rtd) Waweru said that human-wildlife conflicts will only reduce if Kenyans are enlightened on the importance of conservation and how best to co-exist with wildlife.
“The land is not increasing but the population of human beings and wildlife is growing and hence the conflicts,” he said.
Mr Wanyonyi said that the KWS plan has 16 strategies and 89 activities that when implemented fully will be able to generate income.
PS Segor said that the financial sustainability of the service was very important for the future of wildlife conservancy.
“I am happy this plan gives us ways to improve enterprise development in the service in the sense that we should be able to identify high-end signature parks and facilities and high-end niche products,” he said.
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