• May 23, 2024
  • Last Update May 23, 2024 12:57 AM
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Kiambu abounds in untapped tourist attraction sites, Tourism CS

Kiambu abounds in untapped tourist attraction sites, Tourism CS

Kiambu,

Saturday, April 6, 2024

KNA by Wangari Ndirangu

The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife will work with County governments to unlock domestic tourism sites and potential cultural heritages that are of historical importance to promote tourism.

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua said that there are so many tourist attraction sites but added that more efforts are required to create awareness about the attractions.

Speaking Saturday when he toured Kiambu County, the CS noted that Kiambu has many attraction sites but many of them are not accessible and the few that are known need to be revamped.

“We want to make Kiambu circuit easy like having a one-day tour or even two-day tour in the county. We have beautiful places such as the Paradise lost, Gatamaiyo fishing camps, Fourteen falls, Mugumo park, Kireita forests, Bird sanctuaries as well as room for conferencing among others which are all tourist attractions,” he said.

Dr Mutua however noted that a lot will have to be done in terms of marketing the sites saying his Ministry is ready to collaborate with Kiambu County by marketing the sites while the leadership goes ahead to revamp and upgrade the sites.

On the issue of the famous and long standing fourteen falls situated in Thika and which has not been attracting tourists due to its dwindling state such as pollution from the factories, climate change and also human activities, the CS said that they will be working together with his environment counterpart and other government officials to ensure that it gets back on its feet.

“We must ensure that the water is clean, free from pollution, and that it is not contaminated with the dirt and plastics that flow into the water making it murky. Together with the governor we will continue to ensure that the fourteen falls regains its lost glory, return to the way it was in the past and this will help the local people have money in their pockets,” he said.

He promised to assist in finding investors in the areas where they are needed and gave an example of Kijabe hot springs, Kereita area where there was a zipline adventure centre that is no longer doing well.

Dr Mutua further said that the Mathore View Point that is between Nairobi and Nakuru highway will benefit through installation of railings, ablution blocks to make it easier for tourists who need to see the beautiful site to do so without worry.

“As of now when you visit the escarpment, you stand there, and your breath is taken away, it is beautiful but people are afraid of getting close because its bare and they are scared of falling over. We will put up railings, shops and even an information centre for people passing through. It’s a good tourist attraction site,” he said.

The CS however challenged the County government to invest more in putting up tourist class hotels, develop agro-tourism, medical- tourism as well as sports-tourism.

He explained that the County has agricultural land such as the Coffee and Tea farms with beautiful views and scenery and through this the county can even promote exchange programmes.

“Kenya enjoys a strong reputation among the East African regions attracting referrals for patients. There are many hospitals in Nairobi and many specialists in the country. Kiambu can be one of the Counties to attract medical tourism as they have invested in hospitals but they will need infrastructure such as accommodation within the hospitals just like other areas like India which have partnered with the private sector to provide housing for people attending their clinics together with their families,” he explained.

Kiambu, Dr Mutua said has also been among counties that are affected by the hyena menace recently and explained that the government is working with the Kenya Wildlife Services to address safety measures.

“In order to address the attacks which, pose a significant threat to the safety and well-being of residents of Kiambu County we have discussed with the Governor and will set up a hotline where residents can call and KWS rangers are able to act immediately,” he said.

The CS noted that the BETA approach by the Kenya Kwanza government through President William Ruto is to ensure that it makes money for the people noting that tourism is easy money to get and with the investment in the tourist and historical attractions within it means the locals benefit.

Governor Kimani Wamatangi acknowledged that Tourism has not been taken seriously especially at County level and therefore collaboration with the State on promotion of tourism is a welcome move.

He expressed optimism that the various tourist sites as well as historical and heritage sites that the county has can be revamped and also marketed to attract tourists.

He said in terms of medical tourism, Kiambu was ready and rife as it currently has 123 medical facilities, 19 Level 4 and Level 5 facilities and also more than 50 Level 3 facilities.

“These hospitals can be able to accommodate people from other regions. This is also an area we believe we can cooperate and collaborate with private sector and attract those seeking health care to come and this will give us revenue to pay our bills,” he said.

On sports tourism, the governor noted that Kiambu hosts the Kirigiti International Stadium and that if it is utilised properly and involve the private sector, a lot of activities for students both locally from the East African region can be held here.

“We normally host a lot of people here in Kiambu. We have tea, food, and even a lot of people walking around. It’s like being in a village. People come here and they come with their cars every weekend. They come here to enjoy themselves. Now we want to encourage them to join the Tourist sites. We are very happy that you have given us a good wake-up call,” Wamatangi told the CS.

Kiambu currently boasts of over 75 tourist sites, around 16 pre historic sites and according to the leaders what is lacking are the proper policies, mechanisms and manuals to develop the areas and also make them income generating projects.

Courtesy; KNA

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