Narok Governor Patrick Ole Ntutu has called on Maasai Mara game reserve stakeholders to support the ongoing revamping of the reserve in a bid to earn more revenue from the world-class game reserve.
Ntutu who spoke during a meeting with the stakeholders held at the Sarova hotel said a number of changes among them issuance of new sophisticated weapons to the security team at the park and acquisition of new vehicles to man the park were underway.
Also, in the governor’s plan is review of the county rangers’ term of service in order to motivate them to do their work with passion.
Ntutu also announced a review of designated wildlife viewing sites and the mapping of allowable roads for the tour vehicles, both of which will be completed by February next year.
“This will require all park users to use only the designated roads and viewing sites, hence bringing order at the park. The county rangers will be fully equipped to man the park and enforce the new rules,” he said.
The governor who inherited from first Narok Governor Samuel Tunai also said a plan is in place to review all the licenses of the lodges and hotels at the park with a view of issuing a single composite permit.
Additional measures to reclaim the full glory of the Mara, he said, will be implemented as soon as the Maasai Mara Game Reserve Management Plan is launched. The plan was passed by the second county assembly and awaits the signature of the county governor to be asserted to law.
The Governor assured the Mara stakeholders that his administration will regularly hold consultation forums and partner with them to better the game reserve.
Present at the meeting was Narok Deputy Governor Tamalinye Koech, Siana ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) Moses Sikona, Naikarra ward MCA Timothy Mako, Lolgorian ward MCA Michael Seme and Kimintet ward MCA Samuel Wuantai among other leaders.
The Maasai Mara Game reserve is the major source of revenue for Narok County as it generates over Sh. 2.5 billion annually through the domestic collections.
Both domestic and foreign tourists flock the reserve annually to witness the spectacular crossing of wildebeest and zebras from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Kenyan side across River Mara.
The game reserve is also a home of the big five, elephant, rhinos, buffaloes, lions and leopards among other animals.
About 19 percent of the revenue collected at the park goes back to the communities in the surroundings while the rest of the money is put in the county government projects.