In keeping with the spirit of community collaborative conservation championed by KWS and her partners, WWF donated an assortment of equipment to KWS, Tuesday, 20th December, 2022, at KWS headquarters.
KWS Acting Director General, Dr. Erustus Kanga, EGH, expressed his gratitude at the continued, unwavering support afforded to The Service by WWF.
Human Wildlife Conflict is currently the number one challenge facing wildlife, resulting into human injuries and deaths, crop destruction, property damage, loss of livestock and ultimately loss of livelihood for community members. It is therefore imperative for KWS to partner with other organizations to mitigate this challenge.
“Human Wildlife Conflict is such a serious issue such that were there to be no collaboration with other organizations, the majority of our wildlife in affected areas would be wiped out,” Dr. Kanga noted, adding that KWS will continue to partner with other organizations to keep the spirit of conservation alive.
Conservation can never be a one-man job and KWS is open to, and grateful for all the support it receives from its partners. “To ensure that the Service further succeeds in our mandate, we will continue partnering with other organizations as we look forward to future support from WWF, Dr. Kanga stated.
The equipment included two (2) motor cycles, two (2) marque tents, nine (9) man bush tents, two (2) double door ridge tents, 40 camping chairs, 24 camping tables, six (6) camping beds, five (5) Nikon cameras, seven (7) black view phones, 15 pairs of binoculars and 2,000 lion-deterrent lights.
A demonstration on the efficacy of the 2,000 lion-deterrent lights donated was conducted, which showed that the lights are capable of shining brightly for 22 continuous hours, while only requiring a charging time of approximately four hours. During the day, these lights absorb heat energy through the solar panel at the top, which allows them to flash continuously all night. Predators have a night time visual acuity 10 times that of humans, and the flashing lights render them temporarily blind. As such, lions detest these flashing lights and are successfully deterred from attacking homesteads. Such collaborations yield trust from communities, who in turn alert KWS and other law enforcement agencies about poaching and other security risks which may arise.
The donations, valued at Kshs. 6.1 million shillings, are intended to support the fight against the perennial Human Wildlife Conflict that plagues communities living adjacent to protected areas in keeping with the collaborative conservation model.