Speaking during the official opening of the Maa Cultural Festival at the Sekenani Gate, Maasai Mara in Narok yesterday, Ruto said plans are underway by the government to remit 50 percent of revenue generated from national parks to counties in which the conservancies are situated.
“I trust and believe the Kajiado County Government has the capacity to manage the Amboseli National Reserve, and I direct the process to begin immediately,” Ruto noted. The Head of State revealed that the transfer was prompted by an executive order issued by former President Mwai Kibaki.
President Ruto, however, challenged the Kajiado County Government to create more land for wildlife conservation and also enable the devolved unit to increase proceeds from the conservancy.
“As from next year, we will put a budget and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture should provide a clear framework in the ceremony so that we make it better and also make it a source of revenue for the Maa community,” Ruto stated.
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has lauded the move taken by President William Ruto to revert back the management of Amboseli National Park to the Kajiado County Government.
Mudavadi while attending the third day of the Maa cultural event said that the directive by the head of state is a great honour to the Mau community, especially the people of Kajiado County and the gesture has given a vote of confidence to the Maa people. “This is why the president respected your decisions and allowed back the park into your hands because it took over 60 years to revert back to your custodian,” said Musalia.
Jonathan Lelelit said it was a big mistake for former leaders of the defunct Kajiado County Council to let the park be managed by KWS while the land belonged to the community. “This is one of the historical injustices that was committed to the Maa community and we will appeal directly to the head of state to have the park back to our people,” he said.
Additionally, in a move promoting harmony, President Ruto announced the adoption of a revenue-sharing mechanism where proceeds from all Kenyan national parks will be impartially divided between the national and county governments.