Stakeholders in the tourism and wildlife industry have benefited from donations worth Ksh 100 million to cushion wildlife conservancies against economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The money will be utilized to pay salaries to rangers and essential services in the conservancies for a year until the tourist sector is back to normal.
According to the Maasai Mara Conservancy Chief Executive Officer Daniel Sopia the pandemic has affected 16 conservancies and over 390 rangers within the Maasai Mara.
At the annual general meeting of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association held at Aitong in Narok County, Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association Chief Executive Officer Dickson Ole Kaelo said the 16 conservancies in the Mara bring Ksh 1.2 billion annually to the Kenyan economy but have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The Chairman of the Board of Maasai Mara Conservancy Lee Karuri thanked the government for the stimulus program which has provided Ksh 3 billion in soft loans aimed at keeping the tourism industry running during the pandemic.
According to Sopia, among those expected to benefit from the Ksh 100 million USAID donation are 2000 employees of the 16 conservancies who were on the verge of losing their jobs.
About 390 rangers work in the wildlife sanctuaries.