KWS honours 73 rangers who died in line of duty

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 12:00 |
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has lost 73 rangers in the line of duty in the past 30 years.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has lost 73 rangers in the line of duty in the past 30 years.

KWS director general Brig (Rtd) John Waweru said it is only an exceptional human being who would willingly stand in for voiceless wildlife, with the aim of keeping the jaws of extinction at bay, at the risk of grievous injury, or even death.

“On this day, as well, we recognise current members of staff who have surpassed the call of duty in their quest to ensure the conservation and management of our invaluable wildlife resources,” said Waweru during the 14th Conservation Heroes’ Day.

He commended the rangers who he termed as conservation heroes, pointing out that the absolute certainty that Kenya heritage, which is wildlife, would have been decimated were it not for their selfless efforts, a badge donned with pride.

Saving wildlife

“It is disheartening every time a name is engraved onto the heroes’ list; in some instances, conservation seemingly reflects a zero-sum game in which saving our wildlife translates into the loss of a human life,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tourism Cabinet secretary Najib Balala, in a speech read by Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Joseph Boinnet (pictured), said government values the lives of all her officers.

“The government is striving to ensure that incidents of death by poachers are eliminated altogether. We have enhanced investment in KWS rangers’ capacity-building, anti-poaching and law enforcement operations,” he said.

The anti-poaching laws according to Balala have led to Kenya reducing the level of poaching by over 90 per cent in the last six years.

Balala said  elephant population currently stands at over 34,000 while the rhino population stands at over 1,000 — the fourth and third largest country populations in the world, respectively.

Kenya and member countries of the African Elephant Coalition (AEC) uphold a firm stand against trade in ivory. 

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