The Nyeri government plans to open two more routes for hikers climbing Mt Kenya, Governor Mutahi Kahiga has said.
The new routes – Burguret and Kabaru – will be opened this financial year.
Kahiga on Monday said the Burguret route is more direct and the government will build a road to ensure climbers go as close to the mountain as possible. The two new routes will be murramed to ease access and make the journey more exciting to use than the traditional ways.
“These routes are going to increase the income of residents, especially where we have mountain climbers and guides. They will be able to move the tourists and ensure they really get to the areas of their choice,” he said.
Currently, those who want to climb the mountain from the Nyeri side can only access it from the Narumoru gate route.
Kahiga said the move will promote mountain climbing tourism for fitness and wellness and increase economic growth.
The governor pledged to position the region as a tourism hub and to promote cultural and historical heritage.
“I call upon the host community to establish ecotourism enterprises and I promise that I will support the endeavour to improve livelihoods and to avert human-wildlife conflicts,” Kahiga said.
He spoke at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology during the 75th anniversary of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Monday.
The county chief said the county hopes to deepen partnerships with all tourism players, large and small traders to ensure competitiveness and position the county as a vibrant tourism destination.
The governor said the county government is also going to train mountain guides at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology. The county government will cater for the cost of training.
“My government has planned to build capacity of guides and porters in this financial year to improve standards in service delivery and to add value to the tourists.”
The county has about 1,200 mountain guides. Kahiga urged them to form cooperatives.
“These people make their money during peak tourism period. We are just trying to give them a vehicle through which they can save money. There is strength in numbers,” he said.
The governor also flagged off mountain climbers, who will ICAO hoist their flag on the mountain.
The ICAO chose to host the flag at Batian Peak on Mt Kenya from the Nyeri county side as they celebrate their 75th anniversary. The ICAO team was led by Mercy Musyoka, the coordinator of Young Aviators Club of Africa.
Others present during the event included university’s vice chancellor Ndirangu Kioni.
Source: The Star