Turkana County Government will partner the National Government to grow the Tourism industry and strengthen conservation of national parks and reserves in the county.
This was agreed during a meeting between Governor Josphat Nanok and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.
Governor Nanok pointed out that the county has a great potential on cultural tourism which requires better recognition and support from the national government.
CS Balala recognised Turkana’s appeal lies in the rich cultural heritage, fossil discoveries on human evolution and the largely unexplored beaches of Lake Turkana.
“Turkana has beautiful resources that are yet to be developed. There is need for strategic development of these resources into an appealing product that will attract more visitors with a promise of great experience,”
We have a national strategy through which we wish to open up the country for tourism and in Turkana If you connect the cultural tourism to the beach in Lake Turkana, it has potential to rival Diani, southern Kenyan Coast,” he said.
The CS promised to constitute a joint team from his Ministry and the County Government to formulate a masterplan on growth of tourism through creation of a linkage of all its strengths. He said once the masterplan is developed, an investors’ round table will be called on its development.
On plans to establish a science park as a forum for exhibition of fossils on human evolution, the CS expressed the preference of the national government to establish the park in Turkana.
He assured that the National Government will be fully involved in these plans and take lead in its implementation.
On his part, Governor Nanok called for national government support of the Tobong’u Lore Cultural Festival which had grown from a local event to a regional showpiece that was part of campaigns to strengthen peace and cohesion among communities through a celebration of culture.
He expressed his belief that better marketing of Turkana’s key tourism product of culture, archeology and Lake Turkana will grow number of Tourists visiting the region and earn the country revenue.
He also urged the national government to invest more in infrastructural development that will boost connectivity of Kenya to neighbouring countries- Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan
The Governor further asked CS Balala to set plans for conservation to protect Lake Lokipi in Suguta Valley from expected increase in human activity due to geothermal power exploitation in the area. He said the lake carries a larger Flamingo breeding ground compared to Lake Natron in Tanzania that is a huge attraction for tourists.