Kenya is among the few countries in the world which is endowed with some of the most breathtaking natural features in the world. It is home to many animals found in the world. It also boasts of having a national game park within the vicinity of the capital city Nairobi. As a country, we also have the privilege of a wonderful tropical environment but will we start to appreciate nature’s gifts to us now that the tourism sectors has been hit by the pandemic?
My simple reason for this post is this: Sometime back, I had the opportunity to visit the Hell’s gate national park and that single day changed my mind and my perception about things. It’s so sad that tourists come from as far as Europe, Asia, America and other far off places to sample and enjoy all these wonderful blessings and yet we Kenyans never even take a day off to visit the animal orphanage or even other tourist attraction sites.
I am not trying to hold forte for the Ministry of tourism, neither am I trying to market any of these places; far from it. The twist in all this is that many of these places are being destroyed at an very alarming rate and when the conservationists raise this issue, very few of us pay any attention because we have no idea or first hand experience of the beauty and most of all, the importance of these natural features occurring in our country. We only come to appreciate their importance when they have been destroyed and the natural repercussions start to hit us hard.
Nobody will concern themselves with the conservation of our forests until all trees have been turned into timber, charcoal and firewood, and the rivers have dried up and only when we are facing famine and starvation due to lack of rains, will people start shouting and calling on the government to intervene? Let’s act before it’s too late.
Make a plan to take time out to visit these natural endowments which are so important to our livelihood. The experience there will make you look at them differently and above all, fight to protect them. You don’t value something that you have no idea exists. Our combined voices can produce the change needed to forestall some of the things we are seeing today of people dying of hunger whose cause can be directly associated with the destruction of our environment. We should not be declaring famine a natural disaster in this day and age in our country, if back then, we could have taken the right actions of conserving the environment. It is still not too late to act. Let us do something positive now, so that future generations will not have to suffer. Photo credit: Mwangi Ndegwa