The Government has allocated Sh100 million to feed wild animals which risk starving because of a biting hunger, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said.
A further Sh200 million will be provided in the coming weeks as the Government works harder to protect its wildlife, which is one of the nation’s top treasures.
The money will be managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service, the DP said on Saturday when he flagged off tonnes of feed for the wildlife at the Amboseli National Park in Kajiado County.
The allocation is on top of the Sh2 billion the government is spending to feed hundreds of Kenyans who are also battling hunger caused by a four-year drought.
At the same time, he also flagged off feeds for livestock for the community living around the park.
“Our wildlife is under threat from the drought. It is a national treasure and provides abundant pride for our country. We will do everything possible to protect our national treasure,” said the DP.
The allocation is in response to a dire situation that has seen thousands of wild animals succumb to the acute shortage of pasture owing to a prolonged drought in the country.
Hundreds of wild animals in the national park have already died due to shortage of pasture.
The DP said tourism is a major foreign exchange earner for the country and that the administration will make sure it is not affected by the ongoing drought.
The DP also asked international partners to boost the Government’s response to the drought.
“We would like them to give us the help that is commensurate with the magnitude of the challenge we are facing,” he said.
He was accompanied by Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku who thanked the Government for the quick response to the severe drought since taking power in September.
“We are grateful for the feeding initiatives. Wildlife is the backbone of our economy. We will work with the national Government to protect our people and wildlife,” the Governor said. I