• April 15, 2024
  • Last Update April 14, 2024 9:48 PM
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I&M Foundation hands over rehabilitation Ololo Dam &National Park Project

I&M Foundation hands over rehabilitation Ololo Dam &National Park Project

Nairobi,

Friday, March 15, 2024,

KNA by Michael Omondi

The I&M Foundation and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) have completed the Ololo Dam desilting and rehabilitation project in Nairobi National Park’s South Western Area.

The project was financed by the I&M Foundation, with Ganatra Plant & Equipment donating a JCB excavator to facilitate the exercise.

The 2023 drought led to the complete drying up of a previously seasonal waterhole, posing a threat to human-wildlife conflict as animals sought water outside the park.

KWS approached I&M Bank which committed to financing the project through the I&M Foundation in alignment with the lender’s sustainability agenda which includes preserving local ecosystems.

The Ksh 1.15 million project, initially halted due to technical issues, resumed in December and was completed in January 2024, ensuring a sustainable water supply for the park.

Speaking at the commissioning and project handover ceremony, Mr. Sarit S. Raja-Shah, Group Executive Director, I&M Group PLC and Trustee, I&M Foundation, insisted that the completion of Ololo Dam desilting and rehabilitation project reaffirms the bank’s commitment to creating shared value in the communities it serves.

The I&M Foundation’s Environmental Conservation pillar is aligned with the rehabilitation of Ololo Dam, ensuring a sustainable wildlife future and safeguarding the Kenyan tourism economy and people.

At the same time, Director General of KWS, Erustus Kanga emphasized the importance of private sector engagement in delivering the national sustainability agenda, citing previously, that there were no water holes in the South Western area, forcing wildlife to venture outside the park boundaries in search of water.

According to Kanga, this raised great concern for the welfare of both man and wildlife, adding that KWS was thrilled when I&M Bank committed to helping it resolve this issue through the I&M Foundation’s financial support and keen follow-up.

“The I&M Foundation, along with other external stakeholders, is playing a crucial role in enhancing the management of our nationwide mandate to protect and develop our natural resources,” he said.

Meanwhile, Initiative partner and Managing Director at Ganatra Plant Limited, Mr. Altaf Ganatra, expressed, “We are proud to collaborate with the I&M Foundation and Kenya Wildlife Service on a crucial project aimed at safeguarding our ecosystem and promoting harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.”

The 2022 KWS report highlights significant mortality among Kenyan wildlife species due to food and water scarcity, including over 500 wildebeest, 380 common zebras, 205 elephants, 49 Grevy’s zebras, and 51 buffalos.

Consequently, the drought greatly affected the park, depleting all nearby water sources for the animals in that year. In response, wildlife had to travel over 15 kilometers in search of water.

Courtesy; KNA

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