The process of naming a technical team involved in the transfer of Amboseli National Park to the Kajiado County government is on course.
Kenya Wildlife Services spokesman Paul Jinaro said on Monday that the presidential directive on the transfer of Amboseli National Park to Kajiado County will be implemented to the letter.
“The technical people involved in the process of this change-over are yet to be picked to start the long process of handing over,” said Jinaro.
Jinaro, in a telephone interview with the Star, said President William Ruto’s directive to transfer Amboseli National Park to the county is in tandem with the KWS’ new model of involving communities in wildlife conservation issues.
“We are in total agreement with the president over this matter because the conservation of wildlife without involving the communities will never succeed,” said the KWS spokesman.
He said the success of Maasai Mara National Reserve is attributed to the Maasai community, who for centuries have cohabited with the wildlife.
“We cannot work alone without involving the Maasai people. They understand these animals, and we strongly believe that their involvement in conservation activities is a blessing to the country,” said Jinaro.
He said the technical team to be unveiled later will look into a myriad of issues of conservation of the Amboseli wildlife after the handing over, adding that the KWS has a mandate in the conservation of the country’s wildlife.
The spokesman said he does not want to speculate on how the resources will be worked on by the technical team, but added that the county government will take charge of the financial resources collected from the gates.
President Ruto, while attending a cultural fair in Narok about two weeks ago, said the national government will soon return the management of Amboseli National Park to the Kajiado County government.
Ruto directed the Tourism CS to expedite how to actualize the process between them and the Kajiado County Government.
He made the remarks during Maa cultural week at Sekanani in the world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
The move made the Maa leaders shed tears of joy led by Kajiado governor Joseph Ole Lenku.
“You have demonstrated beyond the doubt that you have the capacity to manage the resource,” said Ruto.
He added that after meeting the Maa leaders, he is now satisfied because of the history of the Maasai on conservation and said those involved in the process should start working towards the course.
The head of state noted former president Mwai Kibaki had issued an executive order during his reign on the same and confirmed that will also be the same case for his administration.
He also that the Kajiado county government, which hosts the park, will add more land for the conservation of wildlife so that it can increase the proceeds that come from the park.
Maasai leaders have lauded the move taken by the President to revert back the management of Amboseli National Park to the Kajiado County Government.
Leaders speaking separately during the Maa Cultural Week at Sekenani said that the directive by the Head of State is a great honour to the Maasai community especially the people of Kajiado County.
Narok Governor. Patrick Ntutu said that the gesture has given a vote of confidence to the Maa people, adding that the Maa Community’s attitude has symbolized the conservation of the environment and wildlife across the globe.
Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku said that the community is facing many challenges and it is time to forge a united front to discuss matters and try to achieve solutions together.
Samburu Governor Jonathan Leleliit said it was one of the historical injustices that was committed to the Maa Community and thanked the Head of State for issuing the order to have the park returned to Kajiado County.
Leleliit added that wildlife is the top tourist attraction, followed by the Maa culture.
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Region National Director David Mpatiany said the Kajiado people have been suffering for a long without benefitting from the proceeds of the park despite being on the frontline to protect it.
“The President’s move is highly commendable and this has portrayed that he loves the community and we need to appreciate by fully supporting him,” added Mpatiany.