A bright Future for Conservancies in Baringo
Conservancies development in Baringo is at its peak. With more and more land owners having realized the benefits of wildlife from other regions, they are securing their communally owned lands that previously derived minimal benefits to wildlife conservation. The conservancies characterized with great opportunities including unique tourism attractions e.g. hills, archaeological sites, gorges, potential enterprises e.g. bee keeping, biggest goat auction, water sports and consumptive wildlife user rights, are mostly at initial stages of development. Partnership and support from the county government has been a big boost to their initiatives.
Taking a lead among other county governments to support conservancies, The County government of Baringo developed a conservation fund through which conservancies are able to competitively access funds for their programs. The first beneficiaries of the fund include Ruko, Ngenyin, Kimgochoch, Kaptuya, and Morop Tambarass conservancies. In addition, sign posts of the conservancies have been erected on strategic areas to improve visibility of the conservancies in the county.
During a briefing meeting with the Baringo County Governor Hon. Benjamin Cheboi, before officiating the new Ruko Conservancy office block supported by the Baringo County, recognized the the importance of conservancies as avenues for promoting tourism in the county, improving livelihoods of people and promoting local development of communities. “Conservancies are the ideal avenue for community development and the county government is supportive of their initiatives. He said. He also noted the importance of conservancies in promoting economic development “Conservancies need to embrace other enterprises that will improve their sustainability.” He added. He welcomed the support by KWCA in enhancing the capacity of conservancies in the County.
Conservation just like any other sector requires more resources. Through a conservancies leaders meeting and conservancies visit organized by KWCA on 29th to 1st July, The Baringo County Chief Officer for Tourism was concerned by the minimal participation of communities in county budget forums hence limiting the allocation of funds to conservancies. He urged the leaders to participate in such forums to increase the conservation allocation. Mr. Kisia added that the county had drafted a bill to complement the provisions of the wildlife act in supporting development and regulation of conservancies.