Politics and policy

KWS warns of CBOs out to fleece donors

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A preserved head of a ‘Sitatunga’, a rare aquatic antelope found at King’wal Swamp in Nandi County. Photo/File

A preserved head of a ‘Sitatunga’, a rare aquatic antelope found at King’wal Swamp in Nandi County. Photo/File 

By TOM MATOKE 

Posted  Wednesday, January 23  2013 at  18:54
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The Kenya Wildlife Service has warned of bogus community-based organisations (CBOs) fleecing donors of money for protecting rare antelopes known as Sitatungas in Nandi County.

KWS Nandi County warden Joel Kanda said the organisations were writing to donors seeking funds for conservation of Kingwari Swamp, the antelopes’ habitat.

“Unscrupulous CBOs are sending proposals to donors on claims that they are conserving the habitat. The truth is that KWS is the only licensed body mandated to protect wild animals, including the rare antelopes,” Mr Kanda said.

He urged farmers around the 10,000-hectare Kingwari Swamp not to encroach on the habitat because the antelopes would help in creating wealth and jobs through tourism.

Cultivation and burning of vegetation around the swamp has led to migration of the rare antelopes to Kesses Swamp near Moi University and to Kimondi River.

Environmental stakeholders in Nandi County had raised concerns over community-based organisation’s that solicited funds from donors without putting it to the intended use.

“Such groups are just looking for money for their selfish interests,” said Kanda.