Millions Raised in First Elephants Naming Ceremony

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala during a visit to Maasai Mara on February 19, 2021
  • Tourism CS Najib Balala has revealed that the Ministry raised Ksh16.5 million in the inaugural Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival.

    The money raised in the event held on Saturday, October 9, was aimed at enhancing the protection of the now endangered species.

    The funds arose from both individuals and corporations that saw the successful naming of 30 cubs from the 200 that were born within the past year.

    “This is certainly a great milestone for Kenya and this initiative will go a long way in ensuring that elephants are protected in Kenya not only for ourselves but also for the future generations,” stated Balala during the event held at the Amboseli National Park in Kajiado County.

    Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala during a visit to Maasai Mara on February 19, 2021

    At the beginning of the exercise, the Ministry was aimed at raising Ksh90 million by the end of June 2022.

    The CS further noted that the funds raised would help maintain the elephant numbers across the country. Amboseli alone has over 1,900 elephants.

    The money raised is an addition to Ksh1 billion the state injected into the Tourism Industry to facilitate the recruitment of 5,500 new scouts to take care of the wildlife.

    Kenya has a total of 170 conservancies spread across the country.

    During the event, Balala also revealed that individuals and corporations that wished to have hyenas named after them should be ready to part with Ksh2 million for each.

    He explained that the naming exercise had concentrated on elephants since they are the most endangered species as compared to hyenas and other wildlife.

    “Any animal can be named, but elephants are endangered,” he explained.

    A 2014 study found that over 100,000 elephants were killed between 2010 and 2014 representing 20 per cent of the total elephants in Africa.

    After the revelation, Kenya introduced a stiffer penalty against poaching including long sentences and a penalty of Ksh20 million if found guilty.

    A heard of elephants in Kenya
    A heard of elephants in Kenya