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Cycle with the Rhino event raises Sh2.7 million for conservation
Date Published: 26 Sep, 2013
A total of Ksh.2.7 million was raised during this year’s ‘Cycle with the Rhino’ event held in Nakuru County to fund the rehabilitation of the remaining 53 of the 74 kilometre fence around Lake Nakuru National Park on Saturday (September 21, 2013.
Part of the funds raised from the event are also used to facilitate Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) social responsibility activities aimed at sensitizing communities living around the park on the importance of wildlife conservation.
The event was held alongside the National World Clean up Day organized by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the County Government of Nakuru.
This year’s event attracted thousands of cyclists from across the country divided into various categories. The participants cycled through the undulating landscape of the county, criss-crossing through the heart of Nakuru town and its environs before finally finishing the races at Lake Nakuru National Park.
Speaking at the event, the Principal Secretary ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Dr Richard Lesyiampe, who was the chief guest, appealed to all Kenyans to work closely with KWS to preserve Lake Nakuru National Park for posterity.
Dr Lesyiampe said the park faces a number of challenges, which include a rapid population growth within Nakuru County that has resulted in increased cases of human-wildlife conflict.
“Lake Nakuru National Park also faces the threat of rhino poaching, land degradation and as you all have seen the increased water levels in the lake which has led to wildlife displacement and infrastructure destruction. This is why it is important for all of us to continue partnering and supporting events like this,” Dr. Lesyiampe said.
KWS Director, Mr William Kiprono urged Nakuru residents to own wildlife resource in the area. “Residents of Nakuru County should not take wildlife as a preserve of KWS. Wildlife belongs to all Kenyans,” Mr. Kiprono said.
Mr. Kiprono said wildlife is the key attraction for majority of tourists visiting the area noting that the tourism industry creates thousands of job opportunities for locals besides being a major source of revenue for both the county and national governments.
Mr. Kiprono made a passionate appeal to local residents to join hands with KWS in conserving wildlife.
Lake Nakuru National Park is an important World Heritage Site and one of Kenya’s premium parks. It is also classified internationally as an Important Bird Area and hosts over 50 mammal species and over 400 bird species; the most significant being the millions of flamingoes which the park is world renowned for.
The park is also a sanctuary for the critically endangered black rhino and over the years, it has thrived to become a successful rhino breeding sanctuary.
Sponsors of this year’s event included Nakumatt Holdings Ltd, Sinai Hospital, Lake Nakuru Lodge, Sketchers Design, Merica Hotel, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, and Nakuru Business Association.