In a groundbreaking announcement on August 22, President William Ruto commanded the Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary, Peninah Malonza, to transfer control of Amboseli National Park to the Kajiado County Government.
Ruto gives new directives over ownership of Amboseli National Park
President Ruto provides explanation for removal of KWS oversight from Amboseli National Park
Unveiling this decision at the distinguished opening ceremony of The Maa Cultural Festival, held at Maasai Mara's Sekenani Gate in Narok County, the President disclosed that this strategic move emerged from recommendations endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Notably, it was also guided by a prior executive order issued by former President Mwai Kibaki.
President Ruto offered a glimpse into his conversation with Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku, highlighting the governor's commitment to allocating additional land from the county's jurisdiction to facilitate the expansion of the national park.
With the envisioned enlargement of Amboseli's territorial boundaries, a flourishing growth in the local wildlife population is anticipated, thus beckoning an amplified influx of tourists.
This heightened tourism activity has the potential to substantially bolster the country's vital revenue streams.
Additionally, in a move promoting harmony, President Ruto announced the adoption of a revenue-sharing mechanism where proceeds from all Kenyan national parks will be impartially divided between the national and county governments.
"I want to assure that we will work with counties to make sure that people who have donated their land for conservancies benefit," Ruto said.
This progressive step echoes Ruto's recognition that the land designated for these parks rightfully belongs to both tiers of government.
Governor Joseph Ole Lenku's plea to KWS
Governor Joseph Lenku was deeply unsettled by the frequent encounters of elephants causing harm to humans and encroaching upon farms in the Rombo area of Kajiado.
Voicing his distress, Lenku expressed, "The persistent devastation of crops and tragic loss of human lives caused by rogue elephants in Rombo deeply troubles me."
Over the past years, as Lenku conveyed during a phone call from the United States of America on Saturday, the Kajiado South sub-county has witnessed a notable escalation in conflicts between human settlements and wildlife.
"This specific region has borne the brunt of multiple instances where wildlife, particularly rogue elephants, have invaded farms, leading to the destruction of crops and private property," he emphasised.
Governor Lenku's reaction was spurred by a heart-wrenching incident that occurred just eight days prior in Rombo, where a two-year-old child lost their life due to an elephant attack.
The child was being carried on the back of a woman who fell victim to the attack.
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