The Meru county government is in the process of tapping into the teeming wildlife around the Meru town municipality and the Meru national park.

Speaking during the World Elephant Day national celebrations in Meru, Governor Kiraitu Murungi said his administration was keen to convert the presence of elephants within Meru municipality into a blessing.

The governor has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese investors from Huangshan Municipality keen on supporting the tourism sector in Meru.

“Meru municipality is the only town with an elephant maternity in Kenya, at Nkunga Forest. It is also the only Municipality in the country with a forest in its outskirts with large herds of elephants. We would like to have a tourist facility within Meru municipality where people can easily see some elephants and earn income for our people. We would like to make it a major source of attraction,” governor Kiraitu said.

He said his administration would have partnerships with local and international partners to promote tourism.

“We are working to introduce new tourism products at Meru National Park as well Lake Nkunga and King Muuru near Meru town. We want to have a good working relationship with the tourism sector stakeholders to increase the flow of tourists to Meru County. This will bring high returns for the benefits of both country and the residents of Meru,” he said.

While entering the MoU with Mr Liu Xiaohua, the Executive vice mayor of Huangshan Municipal Government in China, the governor said the county would learn a lot from the thriving tourism of the Chinese municipality.

Meru and Huangshan will build better friendships between the two peoples to stimulate tourism and trade on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

“In addition, exchanges and cooperation of all forms, including technology and science, culture, sports, health, talents and other exchanges, shall be encouraged,” said Governor Kiraitu.

Governor Kiraitu noted that Huangshan Municipal City receives 67 million tourists in a year compared to Kenya’s two million tourists will greatly benefit Meru County Tourism and Trade sectors.

He said he would strive to attract more foreign investors so as to expand the County’s economy through investments in hotel industry, business, agriculture and other sectors.