Kirinyaga Residents Urged to Embrace Domestic Tourism
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has urged residents to explore the many sight-seeing opportunities found within the county in order to boost domestic tourism. Governor Waiguru said that the county has many unexploited tourism attractions and beautiful sceneries that locals and people from other parts of the country can visit. She noted that Kirinyaga County has many good hotels where visitors can get accommodation as they boost the local economy.
The governor made the comments after the Tembea Tujenge Kenya team toured the county over the weekend.
Tembea Tujenge Kenya is an initiative that identifies and promotes existing destinations for Kenyans with the aim of encouraging domestic tourism and reducing dependency on foreign tourism markets. The team, which was led by its brand ambassador Maina Kageni, a popular radio presenter, was received by the County Chief Officer for Tourism Sheila Mukunya. The team visited various hotels and camping sites along Sagana River which hosts diverse water sporting activities such as boat riding, canoeing and kayaking. “If we have people from the county visiting our tourist attraction sites, we will keep our economy growing and shield our establishments from collapsing as a result of Covid-19 that has affected the tourism sector,” Ms Mukunya said.
She noted that the tourism and hotel industry in the county has a great potential of turning around Kirinyaga’s economy through job creation and a trickledown effect in the economic ecosystem. The Tourism chief officer added that the infrastructural development that the Kirinyaga County government has undertaken is a boost to the tourism industry. The developments include rehabilitation of access roads, building of modern markets, improvement of the county’s towns and ensuring that that there is adequate clean water for domestic and commercial use among others. She pointed out some of the tourism attraction sites in the county which include the vast Mwea Rice Irrigation Scheme, Nyamindi, Thiba and Sagana rivers, Ndaraca Ya Ngai (God’s bridge), the scenic Mt Kenya view, various waterfalls and the Sagana ornamental fish farm among others.
The Tembea Tujenge Kenya team visited Wang’uru Stadium in Mwea, Thiba Dam in Gichugu and Kerugoya Medical Complex in Kirinyaga Central. Speaking at Wang’uru stadium, Maina Kageni said that Kirinyaga County is endowed with resources that can attract domestic tourism. He said that the massive infrastructural development being implemented by both the national and the county governments will go a long way in uplifting the tourism sector in the county. He promised that when Wang’uru Stadium is completed, he will use the Jaza Stadi Initiative to bring a national football tournament to Kirinyaga County.
“The tournament will attract thousands of visitors who will need to be accommodated in hotels within the county, which will contribute towards the local economy,” said Kageni.
Jaza Stadi is an initiative that aims to improve stadium attendance by mobilising fans to attend in large numbers. The rehabilitation of Wang’uru Stadium at a cost of Sh300 million by the national government following an appeal by Governor Waiguru to President Uhuru Kenyatta when he visited Mwea early last year. Once completed, the stadium will have the capacity to host local, national and regional sports activities.