Oloolaimutia Gate at the Maasai Mara game reserve has joined the old favourite sites that have gone green after the Ireland government in collaboration with the Narok county government illuminated the gate green.
The global greening initiative began 11 years ago in Australia, when the iconic opera house was illuminated in green on March 17,2010, and now has become a global attraction.
Speaking at the Oloolaimutia gate during the event, the Irish ambassador to Kenya Fionnuala Quinlan said the global greening was a way to connect Ireland with the Diaspora.
Ms Quinlan observed the greening event was to help connect with the Irish people around the global as Ireland has only a population of 5 million people yet, there are over 70 million around the globe who claim their heritage.
The small population, she said is attributed to the mass migration of people from their country because of severe famines. This led to the country to come up with the greening event, where they light up such sites all over the world, on their National day, in a bid to connect with their people all over the world.
The Irish envoy said the event was also a strategy of marketing the Maasai Mara game reserve to the Irish people and strengthening the two countries’ bond.
“The greening is all about building our links, friendship and bonds to raise awareness of our countries because tourism is our livelihood,” she said.
Narok Chief Officer of Tourism Newton Ole Mpaima, who read the governor’s speech, said the county takes great pride in the bilateral relations between Kenya and Ireland, as Ireland remains Kenya’s important development partner.
Ole Mpaima lauded the decision of the Republic of Ireland to choose Kenya to mark its annual activity for the year 2021 to be the greening of Ololaimutia gate, at the Maasai Mara. “With the greening today, Maasai Mara will have an Irish signature, and we remain proud to be associated with the people of Ireland,” said the Chief Officer.
Other sites that have gone green in previous years include the leaning tower of Pisa, Victoria falls, the London eye, the sky tower in Auckland, the prince’s palace of Monaco and the Cibeles Fountain in Madrid.
By Ann Salaton