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Nyanza community members on a five day tour to coast region

Date Published: 20 Jan, 2010
Nyanza community members on a five day tour to coast region

Impala sanctuary main gate

A delegation of 55 villagers neighbouring Ndere Island National Park in Lake Victoria have  left Kisumu for a five-day educational tour  to the kenyan south coast region.

The exposure trip organised by the Kenya Wildlife Service is part of the build-up activities towards the branding of Kisumu Impala Sanctuary and Ndere Island National Park.

The commissioning of the two facilities is expected to take place in the next two weeks. 

The sensitisation tour organised at a cost of Sh500,000 aims at exposing the villagers to ways in which communities at the South Coast benefit from tourism and peacefully co-exist with wildlife.

The tour was flagged off by Mr William Sang, the Kisumu Senior Warden, who said the villagers will visit Wasini Women’s Group in South Coast, Kisite Mpunguti National Marine Park, Shimoni, Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary in Kwale and Tsavo East National Park.

The community members led by the Warden in charge of Ndere Island National Park, Mr Gilbert Njeru, will be shown how other communities have formed women’s groups and boat operator associations to benefit from tourism activities as well as contribute to wildlife conservation. They will also be shown the importance of protecting delicate fish breeding sites and coping with human wildlife conflict. Mr Jonathan Were, the trip organising committee chairman, and Mr Isaac Ojuok, the Kisumu County Council chairman joined the tour.

The branding of Kisumu Impala and Ndere Island at a cost of Sh20 million is part of a high-profile national marketing and infrastructure refurbishment campaign by started in 2005.

The branding process involves giving a facelift to park facilities, including roads, office blocks, public utilities, signages, restocking of animals, community support projects as well as staff welfare.

Other branded parks in the Western Tourism Circuit include Ruma National Park in Homa Bay, Kakamega Forest National Reserve, Saiwa Swamp National Park and Mt Elgon National Park.
The branding of Kisumu Impala has involved the construction of new modern animal enclosures, a modern ablution block, a new modern gate, translocation of a variety of new species including five zebras, two cheetahs, two lionesses, two buffalos, one bush buck.

Other key species found in the sanctuary include, leopard, syke monkey, hyena, lion, baboons, bush duikers, tortoises. The impalas are also free roaming in the sanctuary. The hippos also frequent the sanctuary to graze in the night. Sitatungas are found in the nearby swamps. About 150 species of birds find refuge in this facility.

The sanctuary also has other facilities such as the five picnic sites, the State Lodge public campsite and a sundowner tower to enhance visitors view to the lake and the sunset in the evening.
Two classrooms have been constructed at Nanga Primary School as part of the KWS community outreach programme.

The branding of Ndere Island National Park has involved construction of modern administration block, modern ablution block for the campsite, grading of the access road from the tarmac to the offices. There are plans to drill a borehole at the cost of Sh3.7 million for the Ndere communities.

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