Elgeyo-Marakwet government is revamping a game reserve known for its white crocodiles and large herds of elephants.
Sh44 million will be spent on rebuilding the Rimoi National Game Reserve in a plan to reduce human-wildlife conflict and raise tourism revenue.
Governor Alex Tolgos said at the weekend that Sh10 million will fund a feasibility study that will guide the game reserve’s restocking by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) following loss of animals to poachers while others fled after years of neglect.
“Immediately we got into office, we developed a plan to revamp Rimoi. We have made good progress and it will soon be reopened for both local and foreign tourists,” he said.
The remaining elephants, he said, were a constant cause of human-wildlife conflict in the region.
“In collaboration with the KWS, we have now fenced the reserve and this will keep these elephants away from neighbouring farms.”
The County Tourism Executive Anne Kibosia said water points, gates and watch towers are being built as rangers and tourism experts are recruited, adding that ten have been trained by KWS and are now ready for deployment.
Rimoi, which is in Kerio Valley, is also home to a huge variety of bird species. It had been invaded by herders who have since been convinced to leave.
“We wonder why it was neglected like this,” said Mr Tolgos when he led government officials and partners to the reserve last weekend.