Baringo residents block access to Lake Bogoria park
Residents of Maji Moto area of Baringo County on Sunday paralyzed transport services to and from Lake Bogoria National Park after they staged protests to demonstrate what they termed as discrimination by Governor Benjamin Cheboi in allocation of jobs and opportunities.
The residents, led by Kimaru Koima, accused the County Government of Baringo of leaving them out in all its opportunities to an extent of denying them benefits accrued from the Lake Bogoria National Park, which lies in their locality.
They further accused the County Government of colluding with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to deny them the access to the 10% revenue from the national park as required by the law.
The residents are also demanding a demarcation between the national park and their land, job opportunities at the County Government and allocation of revenue from the park.
“We are not benefiting in any way as a community from this National park, people from other counties are employed here as our own people remain sidelined, yet they are a potential work force,” said one of the residents.
According to residents, in 1973, the community was forcefully evicted to create a room for development of a wildlife sanctuary- the Lake Bogoria Game Reserve.
The failure to consult the Endorois community, to involve them in the management and benefit-sharing of the reserve, or to compensate them with adequate grazing land to sustain their livestock, rapidly forced them into abject poverty and they are yet to recover.
In 2003, the Endorois Community went to Human and People Rights Court in Banjul, Gambia and won the case against the Kenyan Government with recommendation to repatriate them and grant them access and re-allocation of revenue from the Lake Bogoria National Reserve, something they claim has never been effected.
Tourist for the last two days were turned away by twigs waving locals denying them access to Lake Bogoria part, known for its beautiful shooting geysers and hot spring.
Written by Paul Barasa