Investors advised to give back to community

By Standard Reporter

Kilifi, Kenya: Investors in Kilifi have been challenged to ensure they give back to the community.

Speaking at a ceremony in which Athi River Mining Company and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy joined hands in wildlife conservation, Kilifi Governor Amason Jeffa Kingi and his Senate counterpart Justice (Rtd) Stewart Madzayo hit out at investors whose only agenda is to make money without considering the hosting society.

Kingi thanked Athi River Mining CEO Pradeep Paunrana and his Lewa conservancy counterpart Mike Watson for leading the way and challenged other corporates to emulate them.

He said wildlife can change lives and gave an example of the Principal Secretary, State Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr Richard Lesiyampe who in his address to the public during the ceremony stated that wildlife had played a great part in his education.

“When children see a rhino, an elephant or a lion, they should see books, classes, healthcare facilities and not destruction. This will only be achieved if the government, corporate sector, the media and the public join hands to create awareness on the importance of conserving wildlife,” added Kingi.

Poachers put on notice

He said marine parks in Kilifi do not add much value to the community and added that the county government will ensure for every tourist visiting the parks, natives stand to gain.

In his address, Madzayo said some tourists visit the coastal area with evil motives. He hit out at such tourists saying the cash they bring will never be helpful if the people who should benefit are adversely affected by their presence.

Speaking during the occasion, Lesiyampe put poachers on notice, saying a crack unit from the GSU, Regular Police and the KWS is now in place and the government will provide enough ammunition and proper air surveillance equipment in order to curb the poaching menace.

He said Kenya now has only 1,023 rhinos down from 20,000 a few years ago. The elephant population stands at 30,000 with 180 killed in the course of the past year despite efforts to fight poaching.