NAIROBI, Kenya — In a bid to salvage the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) from its financial crisis, the National treasury has allocated a Ksh1.2 billion bailout to the agency to pay out salaries and conduct animal census.
The treasury has increased allocations to wildlife conservation from Ksh8.2 billion to Ksh9.7 billion to cater for KWS salaries and an ongoing animal census.
“The increase is on account of salary shortfall of Ksh1.2 billion for KWS and provision for wildlife census.” Said Finance Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani in a second supplementary budget presented to parliament.
KWS is undergoing financial challenges following the global health pandemic that has seen less tourists visit parks due to travel restrictions.
KWS has been unable to meet some of its obligations including salary payments. The agency has 6,177 workers; 4, 870 who are permanent employees while 1,307 are temporary and contract workers.
It has paid Ksh 4.5 billion for salaries and Ksh.2 billion for other expenses thus totaling to Ksh7.7 billion which also includes depreciation costs.
KWS is currently facing a deficit since it generates a revenue of Ksh7 billion internally; Ksh 3.6 billion from tourism, 2.3 billion from government and 1.1 billion from donors.
KWS which receives an annual income of Ksh1.9 million from visitors, operates 23 national parks, 29 national reserves, six marine national parks, six marine national reserves and six national sanctuaries.
The state-owned agency now joins the likes of Kenya Airways, Kenya Power and some universities who have sought rescue from the government after being hit hard by the pandemic.