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Najib Balala Names 10-Year-Old Girl Honorary Warden

Written by See Africa Today

Whitney Omanyo from Nyali in Mombasa could not believe that such an award was bestowed on her by the Tourism CS who happens to be a native of the coast region.

Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has picked a 10-year-old girl as the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) honorary warden in recognition of her outstanding efforts in wildlife conservation.

The young girl, Whitney Omanyo from Nyali in Mombasa could not believe that such an award was bestowed on her by the Tourism CS who happens to be a native of the coast region.

While awarding her, Balala noted that Whitney has shown impeccable commitment in conserving wildlife and resilience which has borne great innovation now being used at the Tsavo National Park in wildlife conservation.

Whitney is now in Standard Five at the Nyali Primary School in Mombasa.

When she rose to speak, she awed the CS and Kenyans at large. The young wildlife conservationist emphasized on the need to develop the urge of conserving wildlife by ensuring that disasters such as wildfires are avoided at all costs.

She said that human-fueled activities such as poaching, environmental degradation and illegal herding should be contained in a bid to protect wildlife and their natural habitat.

Also read: WTA Names Kenya Africa’s Top Tourist Destination In 2020

“There is reduction of wild animals’ population in the vast Tsavo ecosystem among other national parks in the country. I became patient and I composed the song that has motivated many Kenyans. I feel good,” she said after her appointment.

One of the ways she spreads the gospel of environmental conservation is through her own music compositions, the most popular one being “Linda Linda Lina” which is English for “protect”.

She paints a picture of a distraught girl who is a racing mad at selfish men and women who kill animals for their trophies without thinking of the country’s heritage which is dependent on the survival of these animals in the wild.

“Stop cutting trees because wildlife will flee their habitats. They have a right to be here. They cannot speak for themselves. We have been so cruel to animals,” says Whitney in her song that received accolades from the CS and his entourage.

‘Linda Linda Linda” is the newest conservation song which received the honours of a state launch at the Taita Hills Safari Resort and Spa. It was one of a kind cocktail party graced by among others, Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) and the hotel director Mohamed Hersi.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) top-ranking officials, Principal Secretary Sabira Kwekwe, Tsavo Conservation Area Assistant Director Kenneth Ochieng’ were among other senior officials who attended the event.

Whitney has created a roadmap of how she is going to execute her new role following the honour by CS Balala. She will be reaching out to various communities which live near reserves and educate them on the importance and need of protecting and conserving them as well as the jungle where they live in.

In school, she will impart the same lesson to her peers.

CS Balala appointed Whitney and another student from Mt Kenya region in line with the law as stipulated under the Kenya Wildlife Conservation and Management Act.

Also read: Nairobi National Park Increases In Size To 78,000 Acres From 29,000 Acres

An honorary warden has the mandate to help and offer KWS advice on the best ways to conserve wildlife and the environment in the counties they come from for a period of three years.

In addition to wildlife, they advocate for the conservation of the country’s flora and fauna which is a major factor in Kenya’s tourism. The honorary wardens also assist in fundraising in a bid to keep the parks in the country operational.

Whitney’s appointment comes against a worrying backdrop of huge fires engulfing parts of the vast Tsavo National Park in the past months. The fires, allegedly human-driven mostly by poachers have threatened the existence of wildlife in one of Kenya’s most iconic parks.

About the author

See Africa Today

Pharis Kinyua is the editor of See Africa Today. With over seven years of experience in digital media, he has a soft spot for African tours and travel. His drive is to tell the rest of the world what Africa offers, the best accommodation facilities, national parks, culture, shopping malls and best airline deals to travel to Africa

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