Kilifi man named by Disney as a "Conservation Hero" dies in freak motorcycle accident

for Tv47 Digital June 11, 2022, 04:03 AM
david ngala tv47 digital

A Kilifi man who was a recipient of the 2012 Conservation Hero award by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has died.

David Ngala lost his life on Tuesday evening at Mida along the Kilifi-Malindi highway.

He was riding his motorcycle when another rider suddenly joined the road from a feeder path and crashed into him. Ngala fell and hit his head on the asphalt. He was wearing a helmet.

He was rushed to the Mastangoni Health Centre where he died while undergoing treatment.

Ironically, the famous conservationist, whose work at Arabuko Sokoke forest in Kilifi was internationally known, hoped to die in the forest.

“He expected to die in the forest and used to say that when he dies, nobody should look for him," Francis Kagema, a conservator at Nature Kenya is quoted by the 'Nation' as saying. "Unfortunately, he died outside the forest, so it will be hard for him to go back."

Ngala was a native of Dida village in Ganze constituency. His sudden passing was met with outpouring of grief in the local and international conservationists' circles.

"David’s life story was inspiring for many and we lost a great champion of Arabuko Sokoke forest conservation. Passionate birder, advocate and catalyst for good," Friends of Arabuko Sokoke Forest eulogised him.

Dr Linus Wekesa of the Kenya Forest Research Institute said Ngala was vastly knowledgeable about conservation. “He had wide knowledge on plant species, their local names and uses, which is very key in conservation,” Dr Wekesa is quoted as saying.

Ngala began working at Arabuko Sokoke forest in 1971.

“He worked with the Kenya Forest Service, then he retired and hung around in the Arabuko Sokoke forest doing all kinds of stuff, including bird watching, research, and many more things until his death,” Kagema said.

A Rocha, a Christian conservation organisation says it will sett up a fund in memory of the late Ngala for use in the conservation of the forest

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