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KWS BOT chairman hands over CSR projects in mountain and western conservation areas
Date Published: 18 May, 2013
The Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service Board of Trustees (BOT) handed over eight (8) new and fully furnished classrooms funded through the KWS CSR kitty to communities who interact with wildlife in Laikipia and Nyahururu in Mountain Conservation Area and in Kwanza, Trans Nzoia County in Western Conservation Area. The eight classrooms were constructed and furnished as part of the KWS ‘Reaching Out to Communities’ program that sees the organization working closely with the communities who bear the brunt of human wildlife conflict. This is a way of giving back to the communities for them to appreciate and conserve wildlife as a national heritage.
Communities living in wildlife areas are a key partner in the organizations strategy towards positive attitudes to wildlife conservation by the Kenyan citizenry. Addressing students, teachers and parents during the handover ceremonies, the KWS Chairman Hon. David Mwiraria, EGH emphasized KWS commitment towards improving their livelihoods both socially and economically. He told the communities that Tourism is one of the Pillars of the country’s Vision 2030 Strategy and that wildlife is an important product that lures tourists from various countries to visit Kenya and enjoy the cultural and natural beauty.
KWS supports communities who host and interact with wildlife on their land. This support is based on social and enterprise pillars. Among the projects implemented include provision of water, education and health amenities and support for nature based enterprises.
On 12th April 2013, the Chairman KWS handed over two fully furnished classrooms each at Mwituria Secondary School and Manguo Primary School in Mountain Conservation Area.
Mwituria secondary school is located in Mwituria Location, Laikipia East District; Laikipia County is a hot spot for human wildlife conflict. To the east of the county lies the famous Olpajeta Conservancy. Human Wildlife conflict is a common phenomenon within this area. Elephants from Olpajeta Conservancy and ADC Mutara Ranch stray into the adjacent farms and destroy crops and property. The communities within this area also suffer losses through livestock predation.
KWS constructed two classrooms and furnished with fifty (50) desks and chairs at a total cost of Kshs 2,400,000. Laikipia County Council, through the Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATIF) and Olpajeta Conservancy have also supported construction of one classroom each for the school. Mwituria secondary school is also one of the school institutions identified by KWS to work with under the Partnership for Accountability in School Management around Parks (PASMAP) project.
Manguo Primary school is a government sponsored school built on a government land measuring approximately 10 acres (4.137 hectares). The school serves approximately 15,000 community’s children who have attained the age of school going. Currently the school has enrolled over 200 children and it’s envisaged the number will increase to about 600 and over after the completion of the remaining classrooms. The performance of the school has tremendously improved due to the conducive learning environment. It is currently ranked among the best five in Nyahururu division.
The village is situated next to a hippo sanctuary and therefore experiences increased human wildlife conflict cases. The community has however learnt to coexist with these animals despite increased cases of crops raids and human threats.
The two classrooms and 80 desks that were handed over by the chairman at Manguo amounted to Kshs 3,050,000. KWS had earlier in 2009-2011 built two classrooms, ablution block and purchased 80 desks for this school at a cost of Ksh 3,100,000.
In addition on 3rd May 2013, the KWS Chair handed over two classrooms each at Mulembe and Meza Primary Schools in Western Conservation Area. The total cost of construction and equipping the classrooms was Ksh 4,493,930. Mulembe primary school is in Kinyoro location of Saboti Constituency, Tranzoia West District in Tranzoia County. It was started in 1989 on a five acres land near Kitui’s farm. Currently the school has a population of 525 students and 11 teachers. The school performance has been below average with 2011’s mean score being 237 out of the possible 500 points. The schools infrastructure is insufficient. Communities’ poverty level is high and has led to child labor in the ADC farms and Poultry farms around.
Meza primary School is located in Gidea village of Kwanza division in Kwanza constituency, Kwanza District of Tranzoia County. Meza’s enrollment stands at 950 pupils with female students being 492 and boys are 458.Teachers are 14 with thirteen being employed by TSC while one teacher employed by the school PTA. The school performance has been below average with 2011 mean score being 228.28 marks. The pupils here have insufficient number of classrooms with some streams learning under trees and some lessons undertaken in semi-permanent structures which are not conducive environment for learning and this called for support.
KWS partnership with these communities is to improve the livelihoods and provide good learning facilities in order to encourage more children to enroll in school as per the central government’s strategy of education for all Kenyan children.