Nakuru County’s lakes are a key resource for inland blue economy and should be utilised for the county to reach its own source of revenue potential.
Commission on Revenue Allocation Commissioner Hadija Juma has challenged the devolved unit to exploit opportunities around Lakes Naivasha, Nakuru, Solai, Elementaita, Oloiden and Crater to boost its local revenue kitty.
Speaking when she led a delegation to Governor Susan Kihika’s office, Commissioner Juma noted that initiating projects and activities around the lakes would go a long way in reducing overreliance on the national government for funding.
Governor Kihika, while proposing to have an inland blue economy as an inclusion in the revenue sharing formula, regretted that the county did not benefit from revenue accrued from the Nakuru National Park and the geothermal energy generated in Olkaria and Menengai in Nakuru.
Kihika called for the gazettement of Lake Solai to allow for exploitation of opportunities around it as the county increased its capacity for more revenue streams.
The calls come a week before the county commemorates the World’s Tourism Day, slated for September 27, 2023, at Lake Elementaita.
The blue economy, which encompasses tourism, accounts for 8.8 percent of Kenya’s GDP, with counties banking on it for increased employment and revenue collection.
In 2019, the county administration conducted a feasibility study to inform projects and economic activities around Lake Solai, which is 26 km from Nakuru city.
Lake Solai, just like the other lakes, has the potential to boost Nakuru’s local revenue, as analysts decry missed opportunities amounting to Sh. 2 billion.
By Anne Sabuni