Drought in Kenya Leaves 78 elephants dead at Tsavo

Drought in Kenya has seen 78 elephants die in nine months at Tsavo national park, Tourism Minister has said.

The drought in Kenya is taking heavy toll on wildlife at the Tsavo National Park, pushing wildlife into neighbouring ranches and human settlements. 

Water sources in the ecosystem such as rivers have dried up, with some watering holes either muddy or completely dry.

Between July 2021 and April of this year, Kenya lost 78 elephants in the Tsavo ecosystem due to drought.

This was announced by Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife.

According to a census data from 2021, Tsavo national park is home to 14,964 elephants.

Climate change has become a serious problem for conservation efforts, according to the CS, as wildlife continue to suffer from drought.

“We are only losing a few elephants to illegal wildlife trade, but the climate change problem has become such a big challenge because it is killing more animals because of drought,” he said.

The CS spoke at the Kenya Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Academy in Manyani, Taita Taveta County, during the passing-out ceremony of 68 community rangers from conservancies in Tsavo, Meru, Lamu and Mara landscapes.

He was accompanied by Principal Secretary Zeinab Hussein, KWS director general John Waweru and Board of Trustees chairman Joseph Kibwana, among other government officers and conservation partners.

Watering drought stricken wildlife in Kenya

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Mitigating the situation

The government intends to build 13 water pans to combat the drought threat.

He added that the ministry has also begun afforestation of the habitat, with 200,000 trees planted to help combat climate change.

To counter human wildlife conflict, the tourism minister said the government will expand the capacity of the Law Enforcement Academy to not only offer paramilitary training but also education to those who want to engage in conservation.

The ministry will establish a wildlife boot camp at the academy for local and international students. 

“The boot camp will host students who want to come here and experience being a ranger,” he said.

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