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Kengen donates Sh3m to Hell’s Gate National Park
Date Published: 12 May, 2011
KenGen Managing Director, Edward Njoroge (left) presents a dummy cheque for Sh3 million to Kenya Wildlife Service Director, Julius Kipng'etich. KenGen is the main sponsor of 'To Hell's Gate on a Wheelbarrow' event to be held in Hell's Gate National Park, Naivasha on June 10-12, 2011.
Power generating company KenGen has donated Sh3 million towards a fundraising-cum-fun event dubbed “To Hell’s Gate on a wheelbarrow” to be held in Hells Gate National Park, Naivasha.
KenGen Managing Director Mr. Edward Njoroge presented the cheque to Kenya Wildlife Service Director Julius Kipng’etich at KenGen headquarters in Stima Plaza in Nairobi.
The “To Hell’s Gate on a Wheelbarrow” event will be held on June 10-12, 2009 to raise funds for supporting community enterprises and educate the community about conservation of the delicate Naivasha ecosystem.
Speaking at the cheque presentation event, Mr Kipng’etich noted that KWS and KenGen’s mandate were intertwined since KWS protects sources of water for hydro electric generation in various parts of the country as well as Ol Karia power plant in Hell’s Gate for geothermal power, adding that “KWS and KenGen are twin brothers in symbiotic relationship.”
He noted that the protection of other sources of hydroelectric power, especially Mt Kenya and the Aberdare ranges, was difficult given the rough terrain and population pressure from neighbouring communities.
Mr Kipng’etich added that KWS also protects Mt Elgon, the source for River Turkwell which generates 10 per cent of Kenya’s power and was involved in efforts to secure the expansive Mau Forests Complex.
He called on KenGen and other stakeholders to work together with KWS to secure energy sources for national development given growing demands for water, energy and food.
Mr Kipng’etich pledged the KWS commitment in protecting water sources for power generation to meet the needs of Kenya’s population which had shot from 10 million to the current 40 million and was projected to rise to 60 million by 2030.
Mr Njoroge said KenGen would continue to support sustainable projects for communities, especially those in places where power is generated like Naivasha and Masinga Dam in Mwea.
The two organisations have worked together since 1990 when a memorandum of understanding was signed.
Mr Kipng’etich said KWS and KenGen would continue with their partnership in other places of common interest like Turkwell and Masinga Dam.
Despite the rather alarming name, the park 100 km north-west of Nairobi, provides an ideal venue for a day trip from Nairobi and Nakuru, a truly panoramic picnic spot or evocative camping stop-over. Cleft deep into the floor of the Rift Valley, this relatively small park provides endless biodiversity and is one of the only two Kenyan national parks to allow walking or cycling without an official KWS escort.
The park offers some of the most scenic and well-equipped campsites in Kenya. The facilities include picnic benches, sheltered picnic areas, shower blocks, water taps, pit latrines and litter bins.
However, the park has no self-catering accommodation but there is a variety in Naivasha town and on Moi South Lake Road, near the park.
The towering cliffs and undulating grasslands provide one of the few remaining places where tourists can walk alongside herds of buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, mountain reedbuck, hyrax, Thomson’s gazelle and giraffes. There are also troops of baboon, serval cat and some klipspringer antelope. If lucky, a tourist can spot a lion, leopard or the elusive cheetah or merely find their tracks in the dry dust of the roads.
One of the park’s key attractions includes the 25-metre jagged volcanic plug named after a German explorer Gustav Fischer. The rock offers excellent climbing tool and is home to a colony of rock hyrax, one of the closest relatives of the elephant.
The park also boasts of an incredible 103 different species. Its massive cliffs also provide a home to thousands of swift as well as a unique breeding ground for vulture, augur buzzard, the elusive Verreaux’s eagle and the rare Lammergeyer vulture.
Sporting pursuits in the park include walking, rock climbing, hiking and mountain climbing (bicycles available for hire at the park’s Elsa Gate).