Ruto Orders Transfer of Amboseli National Park Ownership

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President William Ruto on Tuesday, August 22, ordered Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza to hand over control of the Amboseli National Park to the County Government of Kajiado. 

Speaking during the official opening of The Maa Cultural Festival at the Sekenani Gate, Maasai Mara, Narok County, the Head of State revealed the transfer was prompted by recommendations put forth by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as well as an executive order issued earlier by former President Mwai Kibaki.

“I want to say that UNESCO has identified that Maa Community have a culture that promotes human-wildlife existence and are the best conservationists. Even President Mwai Kibaki identified your conservancy skills and also it is Maasai community that gave out land for the parks,” the President remarked while describing the decision as long overdue.

“While President Mwai Kibaki by executive said that this should be managed by the County Government of Kajiado I confirm that this will be the case. That process is now going to be worked out between Tourism and the County Government of Kajiado.”

Ruto gave insight into a conversation he had with Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku affirming that the county chief had agreed to allocate more land for the national park to be carved out from land owned by the devolved unit.

The expansion of Amboseli National Park’s land area is expected to lead to a rise in wildlife population, consequently attracting a higher number of tourists. 

This surge in tourism holds the potential to significantly boost the much-needed revenue for the country. 

Adding to the positive development, the President announced that revenue collected in all national parks in Kenya would be shared equally between the national and county governments since it is their land that was adjudicated.

“I want to assure that we will work with counties to make sure that people who have donated their land for conservancies benefit,” he remarked amidst cheers from the Maa community.

The Head of State warned the governors not to misuse the funds they will get from the parks. The President directed that the money should only be used to help local communities.

President William Ruto further lauded Samburu, Narok and Kajiado counties for their concerted efforts to protect game parks and reserves.

“I endorse your efforts like the Masai Mara Management Plan and I want to commit we are going to support the management of these parks for the benefit of the communities in these areas,” he promised.

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