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Equity Partners with Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife to Address Human-Wildlife Conflicts

Equity Bank has partnered with the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife to handle disbursements in the administration of Kshs. 5.4 billion Wildlife Conservation fund established by the National Treasury, targeting over 300,000 victims of Human-Wildlife Conflict for the 2023/2024 financial year.

In a move aimed at supporting wildlife conservation efforts, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr. James Mwangi joined President William Ruto in Laikipia County at the Official launch of the Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation and Compensation Scheme.

During the launch, Kshs. 960 million, which is the first installment of the Kshs. 5.4 billion fund was received by Equity Bank for disbursement to victims of Human-Wildlife Conflict across the country.

President William Ruto said the government is keen on addressing the Human-Wildlife Conflict challenge and has so far rolled out key initiatives, including erection of electric fence initiatives in protected areas across six highly affected counties.

The President added that the launch of mitigation and compensation scheme, together with a digital claims platform, are meant to fast track the payouts.

He further recognized the vital role of partners like Equity Bank in addressing Human-Wildlife Conflicts.

“Our plan is to ensure the incidences reduce significantly and compensations scheme remains sustainable and beneficial to victims. The success of this program will depend on partnerships with the private sector and other stakeholders,” said Ruto, while referring to technical and implementing partners, who include Equity Bank.

Mwangi reiterated Equity Group’s commitment to environmental conservation through addressing human – wildlife conflicts and participating in countrywide tree planting efforts.

Equity has planted over 25.2Million trees to date.

He also expressed willingness in joining hands with the Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife in addressing key challenges, identifying possible opportunities and exploring sustainable ways of supporting stakeholders in unlocking Kenya’s tourism and wildlife full potential.

The Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife and Equity Group Foundation (EGF) through its Enterprise Development & Financial Inclusion and Energy & Environment pillars, aim to take the human-wildlife victims through Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship training and education.

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Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife Alfred Mutua hailed the compensation scheme and involved partnerships, saying the conflicts have been intensified by climate change and the prolonged drought in 2022.

“With President William Ruto’s great leadership and growth in economy, we hope the fund will be expanded soon to help us compensate more victims, put in place more effective mechanisms to reduce the incidences and clear backlog in claims since 2018,” said Mutua, while recognizing the critical role Equity Bank will play in the execution of the initiative.

“We are pleased to have partners from the private sector, including our great friend James Mwangi from Equity Bank, who will help make this initiative a success,” added Dr. Mutua, while stressing the importance of collaborative efforts.

Equity has also joined the State Department for Wildlife in actualizing the presidential directive of growing 15 billion trees by 2032 and will actively be involved in programs targeting counties affected by human-wildlife conflicts and growing trees in protected areas, community wildlife conservancies and forest reserves.

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