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Economy

KWS to enlist police, military in game parks

KWS warders inspect tusks recovered from poachers on January 16, 2013.The government has directed KWS to enlist the police and military in all parks and reserves to protect wildlife from poachers. File
KWS warders inspect tusks recovered from poachers on January 16, 2013.The government has directed KWS to enlist the police and military in all parks and reserves to protect wildlife from poachers. File 

The Cabinet has directed the Kenya Wildlife Service to enlist the police and military in all parks and reserves in wide ranging measures to protect Kenya’s wildlife from poachers.

The government is adopting a multi-agency approach to curb the rising cases of poaching that has seen 375 elephants and 20 rhinos killed in Kenya in the last year.

Poaching has become widespread in recent times across the continent, with prices of illegally traded ivory and rhino horn rising exponentially in the in the Asian markets.

Speaking in Isiolo on Friday last week during a ceremony to mark the upgrading of Isiolo airstrip into an international airport, the Head of State reiterated the need to conserve wildlife to maintain Kenya’s position as a tourist hub.

The president has also directed Forestry and Wildlife minister Noah Wekesa to flush out all herders from Kenya’s national parks, reserves and game sanctuaries.

Wildlife safaris constitutes a key segment of Kenya’s tourism sector, which earned the economy Sh98 billion in 2011.

National carrier Kenya Airways, which banks on increased tourists and travellers to grow revenues, has also unveiled an initiative against poaching. The airline has partnered with Born Free Foundation, a conservation and animal rescue organisation, to roll out anti-poaching measures that involve communities and volunteers.

Kenya was among the countries that advocated for the 1989 global ban in ivory trade, and has continued to resist calls to reopen the trade.

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