Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi has called on local and international investors to put hospitality facilities in the County so as to benefit on the opportunities from the new Geopark status.
Speaking during this year’s edition of Kaldich festival in Kampi Ya Samaki on the shores of Lake Baringo, Mr Cheboi said the new GeoPark status will generate a great potential in the tourism sector.
“We have an investment opportunity for hotels here, we are calling on investors to put up hotels here so that tourists can visit this area and also conference tourism which we can provide better services than even Naivasha,” said Cheboi.
The governor also noted that there are many attractions for the tourists in the area like snake parks, hot springs in both Lake Baringo and Bogotia, Kaldich water sports as well as bird watching.
“We will also expand the Kaldish water sports and make it a national event, through this tourism money will flow to the county and people of Baringo will create wealth,” added Governor Cheboi.
The governor reiterated that Baringo is largely a peaceful county and that the largest area of the county enjoys peace and flourishes in agricultural production and tourism and wildlife attractions.
“This Kaldich water festival unites us as the community living in Baringo and we will continue to hold it every year,” assured Cheboi.
On Fishing in Lake Baringo, the Governor noted that the lake raises close to Sh750 million in sale of fish and that with value addition it shoots to billions of shillings.
Cheboi promised to build landing beaches on the lake as well as a factory for fish processing in conjunction with foreign investor.
“We as the county government will recruit fisheries officers in the area so as to boost as well as conserve fishing in the area,” said the governor.
His Deputy Felix Kipngok while thanking the organizers of the Kaldich festivals asked the residents of Baringo to maintain peace in all areas.
Baringo County Assembly Speaker Mr Vincent Kemboi hailed the sport as a very unique activity globally with a potential of attracting a huge number of tourists.
“We go all the way in Lamu to view donkey competition, yet ours is very unique and with a lot of attractions, I urge the county government to expand the festival by adding more cultural competition and have it two to three times in a year,” added the speaker.
Area Member of County Assembly Wesley Lekakimon called for improvement of the Kampi Samaki town so as to be attractive to tourists saying it was a cosmopolitan area with Turkana, Tugen, Pokot, and Illchamus community coexisting together.
The Kaldich festival is a precursor of a three day Baringo Cultural festival which culminates with the sale of goats at the famous Kimalel Goat Auction.
Hundreds of residents turned up for the water sports in which locals majorly fishermen use locally made rafters to sail on the lake which has some sections infested with crocodiles, hippos and snakes.
The key attraction was the senior women category where an elderly woman Miriam Lepene of Kokwo Island Beach wade off stiff competition to emerge the winner.
He was followed by Talai Losilo and Lachapii Loweri both of Komolion Beach. Samuel Kiplagat and Isaiah Ayabei from the Loruk Beach won the youth and Senior Men category respectively.
In Women Youth category ClestineYatich of Loruk won the Kaldich race while Silas Loweri of Lake Baringo Beach Association won the engine Motor boat category.
Winner of each category received a Sh8000 prize money and a trophy from Baringo County Government and Safaricom while the first and second runners up received Ksh.6000 and 3000 respectively.
The event comes back after a two year break occasioned by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Baringo County prides itself with key tourist activities like the water geysers and hot springs in the two Lakes of Baringo and Bogoria.
There is also bird watching with hundreds of unique species as well as other wildlife attractions like the Zebra and Ostrich in the Ruko Conservancy which is an island on Lake Baringo.
By Christopher Kiprop