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CS Push For Maasai Mara management Plan

Tourism Cabinet Secretary (CS) Najib Balala has asked Narok County Government to prioritize the development of the Maasai Mara ecosystem management plan aimed at reducing the rampant Human – Wildlife conflicts.

Balala who spoke at Aitong area in Narok West Sub County Friday blamed the county for the delay in the process of developing the ecosystem Management plan saying it is the only way to safeguard the great heritage. “The plan will help in reorganizing the game reserve and conservancies in the area for the welfare of the animals and human beings,” he said.

He observed that the greatest challenge at the World famous game reserve is Human- Wildlife conflicts owing to the fact that the human population around the game reserves was increasing.

“Today, the biggest problem we are facing at the Maasai Mara is Human-Wildlife conflicts. The compensation from wildlife attacks is taking up to five years hence we need to reduce such conflicts by developing a management plan,” said CS Balala.

The CS who was in the company of his Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Joseph Boinet launched the Great Maasai Mara Ecosystem plan for the conservancies around the game reserve. “We need to develop a plan on how the entire Mara ecosystem will share responsibilities with the government not only on compensation but also on finding solutions to the problems facing us,” he said.

He reiterated that lack of a proper plan to manage the famous game reserve would result to the death of the prestigious game reserve observing that once the Mara is dead, then tourism in the country would also die. “We need to reorganize what is happening outside the game reserve as many human settlements are coming up hindering the migratory corridors. I do not believe in displacing people, but reorganizing them in such a manner that they will not be a threat to the free movement of the animals,” he said.

Balala insisted the management will help the community living around the Mara to benefit from the reserve by ploughing back to the community projects part of the money gotten from the game reserve. “I do not want to conserve the National Heritage for tourists to come and take photos but also for the community living around the park to benefit from it. This is the only way they will appreciate their efforts in conservation,” said Balala.

Maasai Mara Wildlife conservancies Chief Executive Officer Daniel Sopia said the individual conservancies around the game reserve have made their own management plans and requested the county Government to help in developing the Maasai Mara Ecosystem Management plan. He said besides preventing human/wildlife conflicts, the plan will also address major threats facing the game reserve like rampant land sale, segmentation and fencing of land around the game reserves.

by Ann Salaton

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