Safaricom, through the M-PESA Foundation, has donated Ksh. 17 million, to secure the future of Kenya’s 15 remaining roan antelopes. The antelopes are only found in Ruma National Park in Homa Bay County.
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Safaricom, the Northern Rangelands Trust and Back to Africa have vowed to work together in a partnership to help conserve the future of the endangered species, only found in Ruma National Park.
“We thank the M-PESA Foundation for this support which is a great boost towards the implementation of the National Recovery and Action for the roan antelope in Kenya (2020-2030) launched by Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary Tourism and Wildlife in March last year”, said Betty Maitoyo Ag. Chairperson, KWS Board of Trustees.
The dwindling numbers of the roan antelope population is mainly attributed to poaching for meat and cultural reasons, drought, disease, conversion of their natural habitat to cropland and settlement schemes and fire outbreaks.
Roan antelopes are a flagship species in Ruma National Park, which is also home to the Oribi antelope, a realm of rare birds. There are also a wide range of reptiles, including snakes.
“We commend the efforts put in place by KWS, Northern Rangelands Trust and Back to Africa to help save Kenya’s roan antelope population. As a testament to our commitment to environmental conservation, we are happy to support these efforts which are part of the recovery plan to establish and maintain a stable and growing population of roan antelopes,” said Michael Joseph, Chairman, M-PESA Foundation.
The M-PESA Foundation has implemented various large scale and long-term social projects in the areas of health, education and environmental conservation, since its inception in 2010.
Under environmental conservation, the Foundation has previously invested in the restoration of the Mau Eburu ecosystem through fencing the Mau Eburu forest to curb recurring human-wildlife conflict. The Foundation has also recently partnered with Reteti Elephant sanctuary to help protect the orphaned and abandoned elephant calves.