The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has Sh3.8 billion lying idle in its bank accounts due to lack of a board to administer it.
KWS director-general John Waweru told Parliament the wildlife agency cannot access the money that is locked in its endowment fund.
The endowment fund was created pursuant to section 5 of the Wildlife Conservational and Management Act, 2013.
“We have Sh3.8 billion in the Endowment Fund which has earned Sh400 million in interest. We can only use the interest but not the principal amount because there is no board of trustees,” Mr Waweru told the Public Investments Committee (PIC).
The committee chaired by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir directed Tourism and Wildlife Secretary Najib Balala to immediately appoint the board of trustees to unlock the billions for use by the agency.
“KWS is in need of funds and Sh3.8 billion can improve road access in parks. If donors see you haven’t utilised their donations, they will stop funding you,” Mr Nassir said.
He directed Mr Waweru to inform Mr Balala that the committee was concerned about the delay to have the board in place.
“This is going to be a huge audit query. We know that there was no law to operationalise the fund but Parliament enacted it. Why is there no board? It is important that you raise this matter with the CS because it is important that this money is spent,” Mr Nassir said during the scrutiny of KWS books.