24 January 2013

Kenya: Mara Traders Decry Drop in Tourism

Cultural villages in the world famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve risk closure because of dwindling tourism. Nicholas ole Murero, the coordinator of Narok County Wildlife Forum, said the game reserve is currently experiencing a low season.

"Hundreds of youth who run the villages are at risk of losing their earnings. The tourism industry is experiencing a low season and the cultural villages are the worst affected," Murero said.

He said the number of local and foreign tourists has reduced drastically. Murero said most of the people who depend on the Manyattas for a living, especially women and youth, should be trained on alternative sources of income.

"The government and the Kenya Wildlife Service should start programmes through which the youth who run the Manyattas can save and invest their money," he said.

He said the locals should be trained on environmental conservation so they can protect the Mara River Basin. The coordinator said the youth play a big role in the protection of wildlife and conservation of the environment and culture. Murero expressed concern over the poor road network in the Mara.

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