39 WILDLIFE OFFICERS GRADUATE FROM KWS MANYANI TRAINING SCHOOL
The Kenya Wildlife Service, under a bilateral agreement with the Republic of South Sudan, has just graduated some 39 senior wildlife officers from an inaugural course conducted for them at the KWS Wildlife Training College in Manyani, Tsavo West. Present for the graduation was Dr. Julius Kipngetich, KWS Chief Executive, who in his address hailed the regional cooperation efforts to protect crucially important wildlife resources for the benefit of tourism and to maintain biodiversity. Said Dr. Julius according to a source in Nairobi: Kenya has a long history of managing wildlife and will strive to ensure that South Sudan will endeavour to emulate and follow the same route. We hope the 39 officers, who have been undergoing an intensive training in anti-poaching and wildlife security operations at the academy will boost wildlife conservation and the tourism industry in the region.
South Sudan Embassy Representative Deng was quoted by the same source to have responded by thanking the Kenyan government for supporting South Sudan pointing to the training course as part of human resource development and skills transfer, which help the Africas newest country to catch up with her neighbours. He said the civil war in the country that resulted to 21 years of unrest had led to an immense depletion of wildlife numbers because of mismanagement of parks. Survey studies have shown that Boma National Park as well as the Sudd Wetland and Southern National Park near Congo provided habitats for large populations of Kobs and Topis, buffalos, elephants among others but the numbers have since reduced.
He told the newly graduated officers to pass on their knowledge and skills they to their colleagues back home.
The 39 are part of an overall group of 79, 40 of whom are being trained at the KWS Institute in Naivasha. A total of 126 wildlife officers have so far been trained both at the KWS Institute, Naivasha and the Law Enforcement Academy in Tsavo West National Park. In December 2009, the first batch of 60 officers graduated from Naivasha and Law Enforcement Academy. The Wildlife Conservation and Management domain has been one of the selected areas of cooperation between South Sudan and Kenya. Congrats to the graduates.