OUR WILDLIFE OUR FUTURE

Nairobi National park is home to different wildlife species including the endangered black Rhino. Because of its alluring fauna and flora, the park has been the main tourist attraction for Nairobi City. 

However all these eccentricity and rich biodiversity is said to crumble in a few years due to the future constructions set to happen inside the park. The Nairobi National Park Draft Management Plan 2020-2030, indicates of construction projects that in the long run is expected to improve the tourism sector and protect our wildlife. The construction of the “high end hotel” has caused controversy among conservationist and the public. WildNow foundation as a youth based organization focused on giving young people the opportunity to be part of environmental policy making and raising their concerns to our leaders.We have voiced out the matter at hand and believe there’s more to the National parks ecosystem that has not been considered with the proposal of further constructions and 

the damage to the wildlife is to be prioritized. The Vision of Kenya Wildlife Services is To save the last great species and places on earth for humanity”. Voting forth of this construction after the distractions caused by the SGR and Bypass is deliberately going against its objectives and mission as the backbone of wildlife conservation in Kenya. We as youths have taken the initiative to address the cause and implications caused by the act. 

Majority called to attention that the park is the getaway to the underprivileged in Nairobi. Most of the visitors in the park are proven to be from the working class who seek to have a family excursion during the weekends to learn and embrace what nature is all about. Invading the parks space is restricting on our wildlife growth and the locals of Nairobi who are made up of the working class as majority is substantially affected. 

Leaders and investors behind this projects have a diverse option of what park to visit and explore regardless of cost implication but have they considered the “common mwananchi” of Nairobi? 

The management plan is said to improve the parks ecosystem; however, few years ago, after completion of the SGR Railway and Bypass, Kenya Wildlife Services owned up to the damage caused by the constructions. It was announced that some of the flora species have gone extinct and the animals have greatly been affected by the noise, disruption of their space and air pollution from the encroachments of housings deeper into the park. 

As the proposal of the hotel is still pending, it’s important to consider that Human disturbance can affect wildlife behavior which will in the long run affect wildlife population. 

Constructions in the national park will do more harm than good. Which begs the question. “Is our wildlife protection the priority here?” 

The heritage of Africa is wildlife, and the distinctiveness of Kenya from other African countries and the whole world is amongst other things is “A National Park in the City”. Cowie who established the park in 1946 described the area as “paradise that was quickly disappearing.” Currently his predictions are proving to be accurate. What was home to different wildlife species is said to be a favorable destination in hospitality and tourism. Are we willing surrender our wildlife and uniqueness for profit gain rather than sustainability? 

The youth of Kenya have expressed views on the agenda and we believe the future of our wildlife in a more sustainable and considerable manner should be a pressing discussion. The park has a lot of history behind it and preserving those stories and species in it is a role for everyone to take part in for the sake of the coming generations and for our environments biodiversity. 

In the year 1989 Kenya’s second President, Daniel Arap Moi burned 12 tons of ivory on a site within the park as an indication to cease the ivory trade. The fire was intended as a statement of the Government’s political will to stop the poaching that has reduced Kenya’s elephant herds to 17,000 from 65,000 in 1979. This act ultimately improved Kenya’s conservation and wildlife protection image and helped lead to significant changes in global policy on the ivory trade. By going against the protection of wildlife policies with the constructions, we will be going against what the image of Kenya has been for many years. Nonetheless, poaching and damaging the environment of the park intentionally is still an offence and our conservation efforts would be nothing but a fiasco. 

Furthermore, Kenya Wildlife Services also proposes fencing of the park to reduce on the human wildlife conflict. .. There is considerable movement of large ungulate species across this boundary. 

Fencing of this part of land will lead to confining of wildlife to one area which will interfere with the ecosystem. Wildlife needs to migrate freely in different seasons, enclosing the national park will be sabotaging nature’s way of living and this will be nothing but a big zoo for the animals. 

The environment vs development debate is the discussion circulating the minds behind infrastructure projects in a growing country with a lot of potential and need for growth, nonetheless, it’s important to always keep in mind that our greatest strength is our agriculture and tourism, everything that surrounds the conditions of the environment. Long-term environmental impacts are often not considered in infrastructure development projects. 

Lets protect our widlife for the greater good! 

By; Maureen Some  

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020 2000 773
info@wild-now.org

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