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Kws to benefit from sh 752m digital radio network
Date Published: 15 Nov, 2012
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is set to benefit from a Sh. 752.7 million loan agreement between the Kenyan and French Governments that would see the supply and installation of a Digital Radio Network and solar systems for the Southern Conservation Area, Tsavo Conservation Area and the Central Rift Conservation Area.
The project will be instrumental in facilitating KWS’s security operations through the upgrading of its current analogue network to a more robust and enhanced digital platform.
The new technology has additional capabilities such as GPS tracking, messaging and vice encryption. This is expected to greatly reduce maintenance costs and increase efficiency in communications ultimately ensuring timely and accurate responses to cases of human wildlife conflict, poaching and visitor security.
Significantly, the French Government has nearly doubled its donor funding to the Kenyan Government from Sh.6.4 billion in the Financial Year 2010/2011 to Sh12 billion for the year 2012/2013. This represents 16.2 per cent of the total Sh.74 billion commitment by the country’s Bilateral Partners towards the financing of various projects in the country for the current Financial Year.
Already, the French Government has been instrumental in completing Kenya’s efforts in biodiversity conservation. Through the French Development Agency (AFD), the French Government has provided financial support for the Meru Conservation Project implemented by KWS between 2002 and 2008. The project involved rehabilitation of the physical infrastructure, translocation and restocking of wildlife.
In addition to the loan financial protocol for provision of the Digital Radio Network, the French Government also recently extended a Sh.819 million concessional loan to the Government of Kenya for the conservation of biodiversity in the Northern Kenya project.
This will assist in meeting the Government’s objectives of ensuring the ecosystem’s conservation, development of a physical infrastructure within the Marsabit National Park and natural resource management while at the same time improving poverty reduction through job creations. All these are aimed at developing and opening up the Northern part of Kenya as a major conservation and a tourism destination.