The National Government has embarked on reviving the National parks and game reserves in Nyanza to boost the Western tourism circuit destination, Africa’s Infrastructure High Representative Raila Odinga has confirmed.
According to His Excellency Raila Amollo Odinga, the tourism economy has not seen its utmost exploitation in Nyanza region and is bound for maximum revival in the next few months following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive.
While hosting Tourism Cabinet Secretary Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary Raphael Tuju and Kenya Wildlife Services Department top officials earlier today in Bondo, the African Union Envoy for Infrastructure noted the renewed efforts to restore national parks in Nyanza through the recent re-introduction of wild life initiatives and the current assessment of the viable tourism destinations by the National Government entities.
“Nyanza ‘s tourism sector was thriving in 1930’s but due to human-animal conflicts, the colonial government decided to move the wild life animals from Nyanza to national parks outside the region and that has made it almost impossible for the current generation to locally watch the kinds of animals they learn in schools,” said Hon. Raila.
Part of these initiatives to revive tourism will see President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to have Jaramogi Oginga Odinga museum further developed as a tourist attraction according to Hon. Balala, Tourism Cabinet Secretary.
His Excellency Raila Odinga has noted that the museum to be developed by the state has artefacts, cultural heritage and material science that its key in strengthening proper training and research. “It aims at assisting communities in Nyanza and Western regions to embrace heritage and participate in conservation of cultural heritage sites through research,” said Raila. Nyanza and Western provinces are rich in cultural heritage but the local communities are reluctant to utilize the opportunities to improve their economic status. The revamped museum will be in line with the Vision 2030 that intends to develop heritage sites to attract local and foreign tourists and at the same time create job opportunities for economic empowerment to local communities.
During this tour of the region that will see the team visit Kisumu County too, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Hon. Balala reported that his office is following the legal structures that will see the region’s tourism circuit developed. He added that he has also engaged The Lake Region Economic Bloc County Executives in Charge of Tourism and agreed on a basic framework for the revitalization of tourism big time in the bloc.
Balala lauded the County Government of Siaya for supporting the infrastructural development of the region especially roads leading to the beaches. Other leaders present including the Siaya Executive for Tourism Dr. Elizabeth Odhiambo, Siaya Tourism Chief Officer Mrs. Elizabeth Oduor and several other national and county government officials welcomed the tourism circuit initiative and committed the local government support to revive tourism as a top economic earner for the county.
Dr. Odhiambo Elizabeth highlighted President Obama’s ancestral home, Lake Kanyaboli with its unique bird species, and several other rich cultural sites within the county as potential tourist attraction sites worth exploring in partnership with the national government for marketing worldwide to the benefit of the Siaya peoples. Dr. Odhiambo, meanwhile, urged local entrepreneurs to invest in the hotel industry now that tourism is picking up fast in Nyanza.
COUNTY GOVERNMENT OF SIAYA