The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Hon. Najib Balala has today officially flagged off the Dignity Housing Project at the Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters, in Nairobi.
The project that is spearheaded by Maniago Safaris Ltd, the Luigi Footprints Foundation and Stand Up Shout Out (SUSO), aims at improving the living conditions of the 72 strong dedicated rangers that offer 24 hours surveillance and monitoring of rhinos in Nairobi National Park.
The rangers are distributed all over the park in 22 small teams to man sectors of the park called blocks, and are moved from block to block on a rotational basis.
Tents and uniports are used to house rangers in the blocks. The ‘tented-home’ have many challenges ranging from inadequate space even for the basics such as lighting, kitchen, washrooms, and discomfort during adverse weather not to mention the high rate of wear and tear. Tents have to be replaced almost every 3-4 years.
The Dignity Housing Project that seeks to replace the tent accommodation with 25 fabricated 20 feet containers with inclusions such as kitchenette, mounted beds, shelves and washrooms, will go a long way in providing comfort for rangers manning our wildlife.
“There are 250 blocks all over the country for the rhino sanctuary. These 25 containers donated by our partners is a start. We need to come together, develop a clear framework, and come up with a funding strategy for the remaining blocks,” said the CS.
The CS also added that in 2020, 0 rhinos were poached and only 9 elephants were poached.
“With the improved living conditions of the rangers, we are positive that security will be beefed up and we shall bring the number of poached rhinos and elephants to zero by 2022,” added CS Balala.
During the function, Ms. Annabella Francescon, Chairman and owner of Maniago Safaris Ltd, and Mr. Peter Moll, CEO & Founder of SUSO, were feted as honorary wardens of the Nairobi National Park.