Compensation Award is Delivered for Killed and Injured Wildlife Rangers2

By Mebratu Hailu

Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority(EWCA) delivered more than 140,000 Ethiopian birr donated from NABU to killed and wounded wildlife rangers and their family on duty in protected areas on April 21, 2013 at Awash Sebat Kilo town in the Afar Region, Ethiopia.

The compensation that ranges from 9,000 to 27,000 was delivered for 2 seriously wounded wildlife rangers and five killed scouts’ families in the past four years from Omo, Gambella, Awash, Chebera Churchura National Parks and Senkele Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary.

Culture and Tourism Minister, Amin Abdulkadir said, wildlife rangers are not only fighting with nature but also with poachers that resulted them in sacrificing their life and serious injury. “Even though this annoys everyone, the scarification is made to protect the wildlife resource and contribute their share in poverty reduction, and their courage helps us to dry our tears,” Amin added.

In his opening remark at ceremony, he also mentioned that, not forgetting those sacrificed their life to resist challenges that wildlife and their habitat have been facing for better wildlife protected areas in particular and Ethiopia in general; the task of the government is acknowledging their effort and finding ways to compensate them.

Ato EWnetu Bilata, Director General of EWCA on his part said that wildlife rangers who are found in different protected areas of the country are working 24 hours in the absence of vehicles and insufficient input which are necessary for their job to achieve the vision and mission of the organization. While protecting wildlife resources, they are facing challenges to the extent of losing life. “We feel sympathy and grateful for the scarification made to stand firm in achieving the goal of the organization,” Ewnetu expressed.

Thomas Tennhardt, CEO of NABU International Foundation for Nature said on his message at the ceremony that each year more than 30 rangers engaged in wildlife protection are killed in the world. “Rather than compensation, minimizing risks and reducing incidents that expose wildlife rangers to lose their life is the first thing that should be done. NABU is ready to support wildlife rangers and their family who lost their life and wounded on duty in protected areas,” He said.

During the ceremony, Ato Kahsay G/Tinsae, Wildlife and their Habitat Research Director, presented challenges and opportunities observed in the protected areas. Certificates were also given to killed rangers’ family and wounded scouts.   

In the past 23 years, more than 70 wildlife rangers are killed and wounded in Ethiopian Protected Areas, among these 35 of them lost their life.