62 elephants starved to death in Kenya in a period of 6 months to December 2021 due to drought. This happened even as the government, running around like a headless chicken, began setting up water pans to arrest the situation and prevent further deaths.
“Through August to December, 62 elephants have died due to drought. We are rushing to build water pans in our parks including Tsavo that is most affected,” Mr. Najibu Balala, CS for Tourism told the National Assembly’s Committee on Finance.
Despite the fact that tourism is a major generator of revenue in Kenya, the Ministry says that it does not have money to build water pans to cater to the animals that have been greatly affected by the drought. In other words, elephants will continue dying.
According to the Cabinet secretary, revenues generated by the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) dropped from 4 billion shillings annually to 1 billion shillings following the Covid-19 economic fallout. He says the money is not enough to help the situation.
“KWS used to generate 4 billion shillings annually. But now they hardly make Sh1 billion. We are struggling to pay their salaries and we are working to achieve our objectives as a sector,” Mr. Balala said. If the drought continues, will we have any wild animals left?
At the same time, the irony is that revenues from Kenya’s tourism sector in 2021 increased by 60.4 percent to 146 billion shillings. This was a rise from 88 billion shillings in 2020 according to data released by the Tourism Ministry. At the same time, 870,000 tourists arrived in Kenya up from 567,000.
The USA was the top source market for tourists with 136,981 arrivals. Uganda came in second with 80, 067 arrivals followed by Tanzania and UK with 74,051 and 53,264 arrivals each. What is the work of the Ministry if it cannot protect the animals? Who will protect the poor animals?