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Economy

KWS seeks Sh30 bn to improve road network in parks

Tourists having a closer view of a lioness at the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Most of the current road networks in Kenyan parks are not accessible during the wet season. PHOTO | FILE
Tourists having a closer view of a lioness at the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Most of the current road networks in Kenyan parks are not accessible during the wet season. PHOTO | FILE 

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) says it is in talks with international funding agencies to finance the development of road networks and infrastructure within national parks and game reserves in the country.

KWS chairman Richard Leakey made the announcement Wednesday after a meeting on the same with the European Union commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella at the KWS headquarters.

He said the amount required by the State-owned wildlife body is in the region of $300million (about Sh30 billion).

“We have held preliminary discussions with the commissioner who is in the country for the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 2) discussions about investment to fix infrastructure in the National parks,” he said.

He added that KWS Director General Kitili Mbathi was also holding parallel talks with a delegation form the World Bank on the same.

Dr Leakey said the negotiations were just beginning but that KWS was looking to involve other bilateral partners in order to begin the programme in earnest next year.

He said the dialogue with the World Bank and EU on the modalities of the programme would happen in 2017.

Most of the current road networks in Kenyan parks are not accessible during the wet season.

“The response has been very warm but conditional on detail,” he said.

“Obviously Kenya has had problems, and we have discussed these problems of corruption and transparency and we have made it understood that we have zero tolerance on corruption in this organization. There have been problems in the past but we have said we will be open to audits by international auditors,” he added.

Mr Vella commended Kenya for sending a strong message against trade in Ivory, saying the country had reaffirmed its effort in illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking.

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