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In-Depth Kenya to strengthen protection of archaeological sites: officials

01 August 2016, 17:26

Nairobi (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government has partnered with industry, bilateral partners and academia to promote conservation of the country's pre-historic sites, officials said.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Arts, Hassan Wario said protection of these archaeological sites is in line with the government's goal to preserve the country's rich history.

"Kenya is endowed with a vast wealth of archaeological sites that have put us on the world map. They not only remind us about our past but are a source of tourism revenues," Wario said on Friday evening during the award ceremony for heroes who contributed immensely to discovery of ancient fossils in Kenya and the larger eastern African region.

The East African nation became the first country on the world to honor relatively unknown individuals who discovered remains of ancient man.

Wario said the government has set aside funds to boost research and training on paleontology in the institutions of higher learning.

"The next generation should be knowledgeable on the origins of man hence the need to incentivize researchers to undertake excavation in pre-historic sites where ancient fossils are buried," said Wario.

Kenya's enviable reputation as the cradle of man was re-enforced early this year when researchers unveiled stone tools aged million of years that were discovered at a forest near the capital, Nairobi.

Wario revealed that researchers have intensified search for remains of the early man in 20 pre-historic sites across the country.

He added the Treasury has approved funds to strengthen conservation of UNESCO listed heritage sites that holds abundant trove of materials used by ancient man.

"We have heritage sites of global significance that should be protected from degeneration linked to human activities or environmental changes," Wario said, adding the government will harness indigenous knowledge to promote the protection of pre-historic sites.

Recent discovery of ancient fossils has positioned Kenya as an unrivalled leader in archaeological tourism.

The Director of National Museums of Kenya, Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia said zoning of additional pre-historic sites is in the works to protect them from human intrusion and climatic vagaries.

- Xinhua


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