NAIROBI, (The Southern African Times) – Kenya plans to raise 100 million shillings (910,000 U.S. dollars) for the conservation of the iconic elephant species, a senior government official said on Monday.
Najib Balala, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said that the funds will be raised from contributions during the upcoming Inaugural Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival.
“The funds will be used to support conservation initiatives designed to boost the population of elephants in both national parks, sanctuaries and reserves,” Balala said in Nairobi.
The Inaugural Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival is set to be held on October 8 in Nairobi. Individuals will be allowed to give names to selected elephants after donating funds towards the program which is aimed at boosting conservation efforts of the endangered species.
The funds raised will also be used to sustain elephant conservation initiatives that are intended to reduce human-wildlife conflict involving large mammals. Balala added that the east African nation lost more than 386 elephants in 2013 but the figure dropped to 11 in 2020.
Government data indicates that the number of elephants in Kenya increased from approximately 16,000 in 1989 to an estimated 36,000 currently. Kenya has resolved to reduce the number of elephants lost to poachers to less than ten annually.