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Kitty started to aid families of fallen KWS rangers

19 December 2013, 22:01 Kelvin Wanjohi

Nairobi - A Berlin-based biodiversity conservation organisation has started a fund to provide financial support to dependents of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers killed or injured in the line of duty.   

The fund, with an initial funding of KES KES 5.5 million, follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the International Foundation for Nature (NABU) and KWS in which NABU will grant €10,000 (KES 1.1 million) annually in the next five years to assist children of the fallen wildlife heroes pursue education. KWS and NABU will seek the support of lovers of nature globally to contribute and grow the fund.  

So far, a total of 61 rangers’ names have been inscribed on the heroes’ monument at KWS headquarters, with four new ones added to the roll of honor since December, 2013.  

Details of the MoU were made public by Werner Shroeder from NABU at the annual Conservation Heroes’ Day which is usually marked in December every year since 2005.

Werner said the support 'cannot and is not supposed to replace a human life or the state of health', noting that it was not possible to compensate the sacrifices made by rangers and their families.

“The payment is supposed to be recognition of their courageous commitment for nature and wildlife,” Werner said.

Werner said without dedicated rangers, 'we would have no protected areas in Kenya or Africa'. He added, "One of their key working elements is environmental education for the youth ... who will protect nature when we are no longer there.”

He noted that although NABU International was unable to undo or reduce the loss or injury to wildlife defenders' families, 'the work of rangers in Africa is very highly appreciated in Germany and Europe in general... because people understand that rangers in Africa do work and risk their life for all of us'.  

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