Tunai says Covid-19 vaccine will save tourism

Narok County Governor, Samuel Tunai inspecting the joint Game Rangers parade at Kichwa Tembo, Maasai Mara Game Reserve during the launch of a cross border operation to up the protection of 101 rhinos at the game reserve and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Photo/File

By Roy Hezron

Narok Governor Samuel Tunai is hopeful that the Covid-19 vaccine will revive the tourism sector.

He also declared war against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages, which has affected lives of many school girls in the county.

Tunai who also the chairs, the Tourism and Wildlife Committee in the Council of Governors (CoG) said the country lost billions of shillings from the sector last year due to the air travel ban.

Speaking in Maasai Mara Game reserve early this month, Tunai observed that many jobs were lost after hotels closed due to lack of visitors.

He however predicted an increase in job opportunities this year after the discovery of the vaccine as people would travel freely across the world.

“Here in Narok we want to contain the disease 100 percent to provide a good working environment for the business fraternity who suffered huge losses last year,” said Governor Tunai.

He lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta for creating the new Transmara South Sub County which comprised four divisions of Kereto, Lolgorian, Ang’ata Barikoi and Sitoka, terming the move a special new-year gift to Narok residents.

“The new sub county will bring service delivery closer to residents and boost security in the area that experiences cattle rustling incidents from across the Tanzanian border and inter-clan clashes,” he said.

 He further called on all politicians in the region to preach peace and unite the residents, warning that divisive politics could lead to hatred and bloodshed in the cosmopolitan county.

Tunai also vowed to mobilize local leaders to fight Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages among school-going girls in the county.

Data from the County’s children’s department shows cases of early pregnancy for girls between the ages of 10 and 14 increased from 98 in the last six months of 2019 to more than 120 in the first six months last year.

The Coronavirus pandemic created perfect conditions for increased teenage pregnancies and for proponents of FGM and early marriage to carry out their ill deeds.

The FGM vice is rampant among the Maasai and Kipsigis communities who consider it an important aspect of their culture.

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