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KWS unveils plan to fence off Mau and Mt Kenya forests

BUSIA
By | February 13th 2010

By Francis Ngige and Antony Gitonga

The Government is looking for strategic partners to help in fencing off of the main water towers.

Kenya Wildlife Services Director Julius Kipng’etich said the Mau Forest and Mt Kenya water towers would be given priority.

He spoke in Nyeri during a ceremony to celebrate the completion of the 400km Aberdare National Park fence.

"After the completion of the Aberdare National Park, we are looking at a possibility of partnering with donors and friends to fence off the Mau water catchment area and Mt Kenya forest," said Kipng’etich.

He said fencing off the water catchment areas would reduce illegal human activities like logging and poaching.

However, he said the project requires co-operation from all stakeholders and resources to make it a reality.

He said the electric fence around Aberdare forest cost Sh750 million and an extra Sh40 million is needed to maintain it every year.

"It is a difficult task but we are determined to follow it to the logical conclusion because conservation is essential. I think the goodwill is there and there are partners willing to join in," he said.

The Rhino Ark that is the brains behind the fencing requires Sh70,000 per kilometre to protect and maintain the fence, project chairman Colin Church said.

Church said the Government, private partners and neighbouring communities would manage the electric fence in a form of a trust.

"Well wishers and donors have put in over Sh800 million to construct the fence and we are waiting to see what the Treasury has to offer," he said.

a milestone

Speaking at the same function Lord Aberdare who was visiting the country for the first time described the project as a milestone.

"It is a very noble project which must be supported by all," said Aberdare.

At the same time, Kipng’etich announced KWS would set up a forensic laboratory at its headquarters at a cost of about Sh6.5 million.

He said the laboratory would help strengthen the research department.

He also said the organisation is in the process of rolling out a data collection system that would simplify procurement and monitoring of all parks.

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