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Tourism ministry intervenes for people living near national parks affected by drought

The drought ravaging parts of the country has also affected people living near national parks

CS for tourism Wildlife and Heritage Peninah Malonza flagging off stacks of hay that will be distributed to wildlife in the Amboseli Park

The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Heritage has stepped in to provide relief to the human population living near the Amboseli National Park and the wildlife within the park amidst the current drought situation.

The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Peninah Malonza, stated during the 2nd edition of the Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival, held on March 3rd at the Amboseli National Park, that the drought has adversely affected both human beings and wildlife.

"We will continue to do all that we can by providing the wildlife with water, fodder and mineral salts to lessen the effects of the drought," said Malonza.

She called on donor organizations and private sector players, including non-governmental organizations, to help mitigate the impact of the drought on communities living around the parks and wildlife.

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The Tembo Naming Festival, an initiative by the Kenya Tourism Board, was incorporated into this year's World Wildlife Day celebrations to champion elephant conservation in Kenya. The festival offers individuals and organizations an opportunity to fund conservation efforts by donating money to the Kenya Wildlife Service through naming an elephant.

In its inaugural year, 25 organizations and individuals contributed towards the conservation of elephants through the program, raising a total of KSH16.5 million. This year, 17 new adopters have come on board with the Tourism Ministry projecting that the funds raised would help mitigate the challenges faced by wildlife during the current drought.

Close to 500 communities in the environs of Amboseli National Park have directly benefited from projects funded through the Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival, including water projects initiated to reduce the scramble for water resources between human beings and wildlife.

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During the event, Malonza flagged off stacks of hay that will be distributed to wildlife in the park. She also launched the National Elephant Action Plan 2023/2033, which will guide elephant conservation efforts in Kenya while safeguarding their welfare under scientific management.

The drought situation in the country has affected several parks and national reserves, including Amboseli National Park. Kareke Mbiuki, the chairman of the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Tourism and Wildlife, challenged the government to consider drilling boreholes in the facilities as one way of mitigating the impact of the drought.

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