Sh319 million boreholes to bring relief to wildlife in parks


A Kenya Wildlife Services ranger delivers hay for elephants on November 30, 2022 at the Amboseli National Park, which had been hard hit by drought. PHOTO | AFP

The Treasury has allocated Sh319 million to drill boreholes in parks following a prolonged drought that took a heavy toll on wildlife.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u said the funds would be utilised in protected areas to provide water to wild animals and are part of the climate finance planned in the 2023/2024 budget.

Wildlife, a major tourist attraction, has, until early this year, taken a hit due to the worst drought faced in the country in decades, with thousands of animals dying.

Read: 62 elephants starve to death in six months

The tourism sector is the second foreign exchange earner after remittances bringing in Sh268.09 billion in 2022, an 83 percent jump from Sh146.51 billion in 2021.

The increase was attributed to a global recovery from the impact of Covid-19 and campaigns boosting international events held in the country.

The tourism, sports, culture and recreation sector has been allocated Sh12.5 billion in the budget, of which Sh6.4 billion will be given to the sports, arts and social development fund.

The tourism fund will receive Sh4.1 billion for development and Sh2 billion for the Tourism Promotion Fund.

“The government has prioritised expanding the space for creativity, including freedom of expression and protection of intellectual property rights. We will also strengthen mainstreaming of arts and culture infrastructure and support cultural production and creative economy,” Prof Ndung’u said.

“We are also cognisant of the brand value of Kenyans participating and excelling in the international sports arena as of utmost importance to us.”

Treasury has also allocated Sh800 million for wildlife insurance and Sh226 million for wildlife research facilities. It has also set aside Sh400 million to maintain access roads and airstrips in parks and another Sh1.1 billion for human-wildlife conflict compensation.

The global travel and tourism sectors were among the hardest hit by Covid-19 since 2020 and are projected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year.

The number of international tourists was 1,483,752 last year from 870,465 in 2021, representing 70.5 percent growth.

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