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US in Sh1.6b grant to wildlife conservancies

Masai Mara’s Francis Nkoitoi with USAid’s John Barsa at the Naboisho wildlife conservancy, on Sunday. [Robert Kiplagat]

At least 167 community wildlife conservancies stand to benefit from a Sh1.6 billion fund from an international development partner to mitigate losses in tourism revenue occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Acting Administrator for United States Agency for International Development (USAid) John Barsa, the agency has since April been supporting the conservancies to ensure communities and wildlife are safeguarded during the pandemic period.

“USAid has disbursed 15 million US dollars to enable communities create new ways to live and work during and while recovering from this pandemic,” said Barsa in his statement at Naboisho Conservancy at the Masai Mara on Sunday.

Barsa, who was accompanied by the US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter and Kenya Wildlife Service Director General John Waweru said KWS has played a key role in establishing community conservancies and in protecting wildlife across the country.

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Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association CEO Dickson Kaelo lauded the grant, terming it a boost to tourism in conservancies.

On behalf of all the 167 community wildlife conservancies I thank USAid for the gesture. It will supplement the Sh1 billion the Kenya government gave to community rangers,” said Kaelo.

Read the Original Article on The Standard