Canadian government has praised efforts by the government to curb poaching crisis and pledged continued financial and technical support to conservation agencies in a bid to eradicate the vice.
Speaking at Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Law Enforcement Academy at Manyani on Friday, Canadian High Commissioner David Angell said his government was impressed with measures taken to contain the killing of elephants and rhinos in the country.
He noted that through training and capacity building of rangers in KWS, the war against poaching was gradually won and urged for more resources to be allocated to the conservation agency.
Angell said his country has been a strong partner to the Kenyan government in supporting conservation efforts pledging continued cooperation in various fields aimed at enhancing protection of the Kenyan wildlife.
“I am very impressed by KWS efforts to eradicate poaching and other wildlife crimes from this Country. Such efforts are encouraging and Canadian government will support such initiatives to ensure conservation issues are given priority,” he said.
Angell was presiding over the pass out of 42 rangers who had undergone a two-week intensive training course on advanced first aid techniques in what is expected to provide much needed boost on response to injuries, trauma and emergencies for rangers in the line of duty.
According to KWS statistics on ranger fatalities, 65 officers have died from various causes ranging from being shot by poachers, drowning and attacks by wild animals. Most of such deaths could have been prevented if rangers had specialized training on how to deal with such emergencies.
The training was facilitated by a sh 180 million grant by Canadian government through Global Peace and Security Fund towards supporting anti-poaching activities in Kenya. In addition, Canada has provided KWS with specialized gear to help fight poaching. Some of the items given to KWS include bullet proof vests for rangers, night vision equipment and equipping the ultra-modern KWS forensic lab with state-of-the-art diagnostic machines.
The High Commissioner further added that Canada was a strong advocate for creation of stiffer penalties for crimes against wildlife at the global stage.
Deputy Director in-charge of Community and Devolution Mr. Benjamim Kavu applauded the Canadian government for supporting conservation in the country noting that the reduction in poaching incidences was an indicator that the partnership between the two governments was bearing fruits.
He revealed that over 400 rangers would be trained on specialized first aid to ensure that no life was lost while rangers were on duty. “We have been having strong partnerships between us and Canada and such collaborative partnership will go a long way to help win this war against poaching,” he said.
Other officers who had attended the function include KWS Deputy Director for Change and Strategy Mr. Edwin Wanyonyi and the Assistant Director Tsavo Conservation Area Robert Obrein amongst others.