Conservationists against the mapping of Nakuru Airport
02 July 2012, 11:16
The latest emerging reports reveal that the mapping of the yet to be built Nakuru International Airport has been undertaken by state officials, something that a few conservationists and other tourist operators involved aren’t impressed with. Consequently, this has frustrated various quotas and are all promising the government of holding protests that may hamper Nakuru County from having the airport built in the proposed locality.
They’ve raised arguments stating that the proposed Nakuru International Airport was allegedly planned by few individuals who never sought for other concerned parties views and opinions. The mapping has been focused to be situated in a region that has direct conflict to an area considered to be inhabited by high concentrations of bird movements hence not eco-friendly at all. This not only poses a potential threat to the environment but also doesn’t spare the human life either hence not considered to be eco-friendly.
A senior warden of Lake Nakuru National Park, John Wambua did however express his concerns on the latest move taken by government. “The planned location is directly situated on the bird’s migratory route, which is the main reason why we as conservationists aren’t supporting the move at all with great concerns. This also does present a major risk to aircrafts which would be destined to fly over the location,” he said.
The CEO of Soysambu Conservancy, Kathryn Combes was also in agreement of the accusations adding that: “The proposal of mapping a new airport in the region would equally benefit all local industrial and the tourism sector alike. But the said location of the proposed airport is nothing less of a disaster waiting to happen. We suggest that the stakeholders involved opt for considerations of revising their plans as the said location happens to fall directly to the flight path of thousands of Great White Pelicans. These bird’s species migrate here between the two World Heritage Site lakes and they’ll have nowhere to go. A collision would be considered to be very catastrophic and it would consequently lead to great negative effects.” Though the move is primarily aimed at boosting tourism in the area, it might end up jeopardising the efforts made over the years if it won’t consider the environmental factors.
Two like-minded individuals also stood out in support of the grievances posed by the proposed mapping of the airport. Jean Francois Damon, a local tourism operator and owner of Sleeping Warrior Lodge on Soysambu Conservancy, together with Simon Thomsett who is an associate of the ornithology section of the zoology department, a co-ordinate of the National Museums of Kenya.
They were also quick to express their opinions stating that they were extremely worried of the consequences it posed to the entire industry. Damon pointed out that him in conjunction with other stakeholders in the region, who have been on the fore front in creating local employment opportunities, were never consulted either by any governmental agencies involved in the mapping of the said airport.
According to them, they tend to consider the Environmental Impact Assessment Study report to be nothing but just a document with a legal formality. This is in respect to the shocking news that they received only after the decision had already been made without any involved consultations being carried out.
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