Kenya to benefit from EU’s Sh3.6 billion to fight poaching


Graham Kajilwa, The Standard

Date Published

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Kenya is among East African countries set to benefit from Sh3.6 billion (30 million euros) from the European Union for fighting poaching. The funds are meant to strengthen anti-poaching in countries adjacent to the Indian Ocean in a new initiative to intercept smuggled wildlife products shipped overseas. 

And in line with this pledge, the EU yesterday signed a Sh2.06 billion (17.2 million euros) deal with three United Nations institutions that will work jointly in the venture. As the host nation of the UN headquarters, Kenya was represented by Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu. 

Prof Wakhungu said in addition to the agreement set to boost the country’s efforts in surveillance at point of entry, Kenya has invested in a state-of-the-art laboratory, that is the only one of its kind the region (the other being in South Africa) and has been critical in the fight against poaching. 

Intercepted ivory 

The lab does genetic tests on ivory intercepted in the country. Wakhungu noted most of the tests have revealed the elephant tusks do not originate from Kenya. “People thought the problem of poaching was in Kenya but what we noticed is that we have been used a transit country. From a lot of the ivory we intercepted and did genetic study on, we noticed it comes from Angola,” she said. “Lest we forget poaching is still legal in many countries (even in the EU), whether it is fossil or fresh ivory,” said Wakhungu. 

She noted that the new challenge is wildlife poisoning. The European Union ambassador to Kenya, Stephano Dejak, said there is a need to devise new ways to combat illegal killing and trafficking wildlife.