Nairobi — The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has assured that there will be no biodiversity damage at Hell's Gate National Park following concerns about the Koroga Festival planned for February next year.
This follows concerns raised by wildlife conservation activists, led by Paula Kahumbu, that the event co-organised by Capital FM and Naivasha Love Festival, is likely to affect core conservation areas or critically endangered species like vultures in the park.
According to KWS head of Communications Paul Udoto however, there are clear regulations put in place on timings, noise levels and clean-up after events.
"As a matter of fact, the park has sites designated for hosting events where insecurity and disturbance of wildlife is minimized. We also have clear regulations for such events," he said in a statement, citing past events like "To Hell's Gate on a Wheelbarrow" and "Safaricom Jazz Festival."
"Over the years, we have held over 20 successful events in the park," Udoto said in the statement by KWS Director-General.
Conservationists had claimed that the event planned for February 15 and 16 is a major threat to biodiversity protection.
But KWS has assured that all measures have been put in place to ensure laid down procedures and regulations are followed by organisers of any event in the park.
"As part of sustainability and mitigation for ecological footprint, some funds raised from events held in the park are ploughed back to support conservation and community development," the statement said.
Capital Group Limited signed an agreement with Naivasha Love Festival (NLF) to hold Koroga Festival in Naivasha.
Capital FM's Group Commercial Director Farida Idris said Koroga Festival is professionally managed and assured that all regulations by KWS will be followed strictly.
"We wish to assure the public that Koroga Festival will not pose any threat to the park because we will adhere to regulations set out by KWS," she said of the event that will be the first outside the capital Nairobi.
Naivasha Love Festival's Chairman Kimani Gitau said they has secured several sponsors including Naivas Supermarkets and Kenya Airways to support the initiative.
The event, which will be held at a cost of Sh25 million, is targeting more than 10, 000 tourists from all over the world and over 5, 000 local tourists.
Koroga Festival is a celebration of African music, food, art and fashion brought to you in the form of a concert and open boutique market.