A section of leaders from the Maasai community have opposed the proposed Maasai Mara Game Reserve Management Bill allegedly being prepared by the Narok county government.
Led by land activist Meitamei olol Dapash, the leaders said the proposed bill which is yet to be presented to the county assembly, proposes an act of county assembly that will provide the management, conservation and sustainable utilization of the world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve, which is against the people’s wish.
“We really do not need a management authority to manage the game reserve because the Maasai community have been living with these animals and protecting them since time in memorial. The bill will be rendered unacceptable because the community is opposed to it,” he said.
Dapash who was speaking during a consultative meeting at Talek trading center in Mara ward in Narok West Sub County Wednesday, said they did not want to wait until the last minute to oppose the move.
“We cannot wait for the bill to be presented in the floor of the house and we want it to be disregarded in totality early enough,” said Dapash.
He wondered why the land which was sacrificed by their fore fathers for the sake of conservation and source of income is now being turned to a ‘private entity’ and only for few people to benefit.
“We want a thorough public participation before the bill is brought to the floor of county assembly because Maasai Mara Game Reserve is owned by the community and not a specific individual,” said Dapash.
The renowned activist praised the Maa Community saying they are a brand of conservation and are the best managers of wildlife in the world.
He reiterated that the community did not have any issue with the area governor Samuel Tunai but were opposed of the attempt to dispose their ancestral land.
“We derive our livelihood from livestock and wildlife, so anything that affects the status quo should engage the community fully,” he added.
Kennedy Lepole, a resident of Talek said the community is opposed to the bill and urged the Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) to reject it once brought to the floor of the house.
When contacted for comment, the county executive for Tourism Joseph Koila said they will issue comprehensive statements once the bill reaches them.
Maasai Mara Game Reserve is the leading earner in terms of foreign exchange for the Narok County Government where the county collects at least Sh3 billion yearly.
By Ann Salaton