Tembo Naming Festival raises KES 16.5M, 17 new adopters

Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage has launched relief efforts for communities living near the Amboseli National Park, which has been severely impacted by drought.

Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Peninah Malonza, announced that the ministry will provide human populations with water and relief food until the drought is contained.

Speaking at the Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival, Malonza called on donors, private sector players, and non-governmental organizations to assist with the mitigation of the impact of drought on both human and wildlife communities.

The Tembo Naming festival offers individuals and organizations an opportunity to fund conservation efforts by donating money to the Kenya Wildlife Service by naming an elephant. In its inaugural year, the festival raised KES 16.5 million from 25 organizations and individuals who contributed to elephant conservation efforts.

To adopt an elephant, Kneyans can pay between KES 100,000 and KES 500,000. The initiative is aimed at creating an environment where human-wildlife conflict can be minimized and promoting human-elephant co-existence.

This year, 17 new adopters have come on board, and the Tourism Ministry is projecting that the funds raised will help mitigate the challenges faced by wildlife during the current drought.

During the event, Malonza flagged off stacks of hay that will be distributed to wildlife in the park. She also launched the National Elephant Action Plan 2023/2033, which will guide elephant conservation efforts in Kenya while safeguarding their welfare under scientific management.

The festival has directly benefited close to 500 communities in the environs of Amboseli National Park through water projects initiated to reduce the scramble for water resources between human beings and wildlife.

Parliamentary departmental committee on Tourism and Wildlife chairman Kareke Mbiuki challenged the government to consider drilling boreholes in parks and national reserves as one way of mitigating drought.

Mbiuki also urged the tourism sector to strive for self-sustaining status with the current recovery being witnessed in the sector after the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s World Wildlife Day celebrated all conservation efforts, from intergovernmental to local scale, under the auspices of “Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation.”

The Ministry of Tourism hopes that the relief efforts and conservation initiatives will help to mitigate the impact of the drought on communities and wildlife living around the parks.



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