• May 25, 2024
  • Last Update May 25, 2024 7:56 PM
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All set for second edition Roan Antelope marathon in Homa Bay county

Homa Bay,

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

KNA by Davis Langat

The county government of Homa Bay is set to host the second edition of the Roan Antelope half marathon.

County Executive Commettee Member for Trade Polycarp Okombo said over 5000 participants were expected in the race.

He said the race was one of the efforts to conserve the Roan Antelope which faces imminent extinction.

The antelope is only found at Ruma National park in Homa Bay County.

According to Kenya Wildlife Service, there were only12 roan antelopes by 2020.

“We have taken deliberate steps to market Ruma National Park and save the roan, the race is expected to generate money for conservation efforts.” Okombo said.

He said before the first edition of the Roan Antelope marathon last year, some people did not know the existence of Ruma National park.

According to the county Tourism Department, at least 3000 people visit Ruma National park every month.

Okombo said hosting the marathon will enable KWS and the county government to boost conservation efforts of the park.

The participants in the marathon will register with between Sh1000 and Sh1500.

“The hospitality industry will get a boost from the large number of guests. Having more guests will open up investment opportunities in tourism,” Mr Okomo said.

During the race, runners will compete within a sanctuary created by KWS. The 5.6 square kilometer sanctuary keeps the animals safe from predators and poachers.

Mr Okombo said the race organisers have set aside Sh 1.25 million to paid as prizes to the winners.

“Winners in the male and female category will get Sh 250,000 each while runners up in the two categories will get Sh 100,000 each. All top ten runners will be awarded,” he said.

During the two days event, members of the Luo community are expected to participate in a cultural event that is meant to promote their culture.

Okombo said participants will sail across the lake from Homa Bay town to Mbita before moving to Ruma National park.

“Everyone will have an opportunity to watch animals on the first day. We will also showcase the luo culture including history, cuisine, traditions, songs and dances,” the County Executive said.

Okombo invited investors to develop an eco-lodge at Ruma National park where tourists will stay.

He said having an accommodation facility at the park will create job opportunities for local residents.

Courtesy; KNA

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