COUNTY RECEIVES TECHNICAL REPORT ON ESTABLISHMENT OF MOUNTAIN BONGO AND RHINO SANCTUARY
Accompanied by the Chairman of Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Mr. Peter Kinyua, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy CEO Mike Watson and County Minister for Tourism Maingi Mugambi, Meru Deputy Governor Hon. Titus Ntuchiu yersterday received the technical report prepared by experts and scientists from KWS and KFS on establishment of Meru Mt. Kenya Mountain Bongo and Rhino Sanctuary, on behalf of the Governor, H.E. Kiraitu Murungi.
The two species were historically found in Mt. Kenya but have since become extinct and endangered which has drastically affected tourism in Meru by reducing flow of tourists in the County. Governor Kiraitu’s administration aims to remedy this by establishing the sanctuary and reintroducing them to their original natural habitat.
“As a government we are very thankful to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, KWS, KFS and all other partners who have joined us towards achievement of this objective which will greatly help to boost tourism and improve the economy of our County,” said the Deputy Governor.
Hon. Ntuchiu noted that when they took over leadership, they intended to identify unexploited high economic potential areas and resources of the County which can optimally be utilized to achieve the vision of Making Meru Great.
“One such dormant high potential resource is the tourism capacity of Mt. Kenya, Meru National Park and other areas including private entities such as the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy,” he added.
Last year the County organized the inaugural Mt. Kenya Run held at Kenya School of Adventure and Leadership (KESAL), Ntirimiti in Buuri Sub County, which was a great success nationally and earned a slot in the Athletics Kenya (AK) annual calendar of events. This was in addition to Governor Kiraitu’s efforts to further open Mt. Kenya where his administration spent over Sh20 million to open a 22km road to Lake Ellis tourism facility at 13,000ft a.s.l. through Themwe in South Imenti.
One of the objectives of the Meru Mt. Kenya Run event was to promote conservation by establishment of the Mountain Bongo and Rhino Sanctuary whose report was received today.
The Deputy Governor also said the County Government is laying down plans to expand occupancy and accommodation by putting up a 5-Star Hotel and other facilities at Meru National Park which until now has not yet been exploited due to low bed capacity, despite that the park is same size and has same tourism products as Masai Mara which is among the best and most profitable tourist facilities in the country.