Saturday, November 18, 2017
Natural Resources Principal Secretary, Dr. Mwakima inspects SGR from Maungu bridge in Tsavo East National Park

Natural Resources Principal Secretary, Dr. Mwakima inspects SGR from Maungu bridge in Tsavo East National Park

Natural Resources Principal Secretary, Dr. Margaret Mwakima has urged Members of Parliament in the Environment and Natural Resources Committee to facilitate the allocation of more resources to conservation due to the role it plays in economic growth in Kenya.

She spoke as the Ministry and Kenya Wildlife Service took the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on a guided tour to assess the impacts the Standard Gauge Railway has had on the wildlife in Tsavo Conservation Area.

“We as a Ministry are committed to the process of protecting wildlife resources, as enshrined in the Wildlife Act 2013” She confirmed. This Act she said allows for benefit sharing among various stakeholders of this valuable asset to Kenya through wildlife tourism.

Tsavo Conservation Area is the country’s largest officially gazatted protected wildlife area which spans 16,000 square miles in Southern Kenya. The area comprises three adjoining National Parks which are Tsavo East, Tsavo West and the Chyulu Hills.

In Tsavo alone the Standard Gauge Railway will take about 10.2 km2 of the park. This necessitated the MPs visit to the parks to ascertain among others claims of habitat fragmentation and blockage of wildlife migration route which has led to enhanced human wildlife conflict.

Emuhaya MP Hon.Wilbur Otichillo who chaired the meeting directed the Kenya Wildlife Service to furnish the committee with an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report and evidence that all stakeholders were involved in the process.

During the tour to Bachuma, Maungu, Man Eaters and Tsavo river members noted with concern the increased human/wildlife conflict as a result of the railway and oil pipeline construction and recommended the inclusion of underpasses and overpasses to allow wildlife movement.

PS Mwakima, KWS DG Kitili Mbathi (center) and South Imenti MP, Kathuri Murungi inspecting SGR programme at MaungoThe meeting was attended by 10 Members of Parliament of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya Wildlife Service, Director General, Mr. Kitili Mbathi among other stakeholders.

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