KWS to sponsor investment conference for Garissa
Date Published: 18 Jun, 2010
KWS team lead by Director are picking litters along the main road to Garissa town.
The Kenya Wildlife Service has offered to be one of the main sponsors for a planned conference on the investment, tourism and trade for Garissa Town.
The conference, to be held by the end of the year, will discuss ways of repositioning the town as the region’s investment hub in readiness for the Kenya’s proposed second corridor to Sudan and Ethiopia, laying of fibre optic cables, airport, railway line and the establishment of the country’s second port in Magogoni, Lamu.
“Garissa is ready for business with railway, land, water, security and other infrastructure being planned to connect Kenya to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia,” said Mr. Julius Kipng’etich, the KWS Director, while addressing a four-day biannual KWS Wardens’ and Scientists’ Conference in Garissa Town.
Located 380 km north east of Nairobi, Garissa has been described by the International Police as the safest town in Eastern and Central Africa.
Mr. Kipngetich said: “Garissa is a vibrant town with a huge potential for growth with the planned development that will open up Northern Kenya. “
He said Kenya Wildlife Service was preparing to share in the growth of the vast region under Vision 2030, through wildlife and tourism attractions at various national parks and reserves, including Arawale, Rahole, Meru, Samburu, Sibiloi, Mwingi and Kora.
The conference participants collected litter on the main street of Garissa Town as a show of commitment to environmental conservation. They were joined by the Lower North Eastern Regional Commissioner Hassan Farah, Garissa District Commissioner John Kiinjo and Mayor Mohammed Gabow.
The participants also visited Garissa Children’s Home where they donated food and beddings worth Sh150,000. The home, which was founded by 76-year-old Mama Hani, supports 121 children with various disabilities.
KWS pledged to support the establishment of the home’s income generating project. “Corporate social responsibility is not about dishing out handouts, but building sustainability,” Mr Kipng’etich said, adding that Garissa had been chosen as this year’s venue to enable KWS to have a fresh view of the region’s wildlife conservation and tourism potential.
He noted that Upper Eastern, North Eastern and Upper Rift Valley were most suitable for tourism development given that they are still sparsely populated, with land uses that are compatible with wildlife conservation.
The Director noted that Kenya’s wildlife performed well last year despite the loss of 243 elephants and 18 rhinos to poachers due to international dynamics.
He said the Dog Unit would soon be extended to Mombasa and Eldoret towns to enhance wildlife surveillance at points of entry and exit.
Mr Kipng’etich said KWS would strengthen partnerships with communities through the newly established community enterprise department to enable them benefit more from tourism and wildlife.
“Our engagement with communities will emphasise the enterprise route to win more land for wildlife conservation as well as get communities other viable ways of earning livelihoods,” he said.
He announced that plans are ready for KWS to set up an endowment fund for conservation targeting to raise US$100 million (Sh8 billion) in the next 10 years. An animal adoption programme has already been launched.
The District Commissioner welcomed the proposed investment conference, saying the town had plenty of land and other infrastructure for investors.