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Government put illegal developers on notice

The government has put on notice investors who have put up illegal camps at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve as they compromise the international standards of the famous Game Reserve.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said illegal developers have continued to build camps in the game reserve that do not meet the set international standards warning that they could be forcefully evicted and prosecuted.

“We cannot continue with illegal developers who compromise the standards of this famous Game reserve. For many years, this Game Reserve was ranked among the best in the world but failed the test last year because of the illegal camps,” said Balala.

The CS spoke Wednesday when he paid a courtesy call to Governor Samuel Tunai before proceeding to the Game reserve.

He said his department will collaborate with the County Government to audit all the camps at the Maasai Mara Game reserve in a bid to ensure they meet the international standards of operation.

At the same time, Balala who was accompanied by Tourism Chief Administrative Secretary Joseph Boinnett and Wildlife Principal Secretary Fred Segor said a total of Sh. 120 Million had been paid out as compensation to families whose loved ones had been killed by wild animals between 2014 and 2017.

Sh. 10 Million, he continued, was paid to those injured by wildlife during the same period adding that the process of compensating deserving families continues.

“We however call on the community to learn how to live with the animals to reduce the wild-human conflicts as these animals are our heritage,” reiterated Balala.

Balala added that the government had set aside Sh.1 Billion to give as allowances to rangers who have been in the front line of protecting the wild animals during this season when the country is battling Covid-19 pandemic.

“The money will be channeled directly to their accounts from September. This shows that the government recognizes those who work hard to protect the wild animals,” he said.

On his part, Governor Tunai lauded the government for tarmacking the 84-Kilometer road from Narok Town to Maasai Mara -Sekenani gate making it easy to travel to the game reserve.

He added that the county has set up several screening points for all visiting the reserve including regular testing of those working in various camps.

By Ann Salaton

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