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What to Do with the Nairobi National Park

Kenya’s oldest national park, which is facing threats from habitat loss, a decline in wildlife species and government infrastructure developments, is at the centre of a fresh row over its future. Faced with dwindling wildlife and visitor numbers, and increasing industry and human settlements on all sides, the Kenyan Wildlife Services has drawn up a 10-year management plan it hopes will save the park from total collapse. But the plan has opened up a new battleground between wildlife authorities and conservation groups, with the latter accusing the government of failing to adequately consult with communities living on land adjacent to the park. The plan includes a proposal to build fences around huge tracts of land on the southern edge of the park. Currently, the park is fenced only to the east, north and west – where it directly borders densely populated city suburbs. The government hopes the extended fencing will keep dangerous animals out of such areas, reduce escalating human-wildlife conflict and cut down on compensation claims.