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February 21, 2019

KWS to finally open ancient time capsule

HIDDEN: An example of a time capsule
HIDDEN: An example of a time capsule

In about a year’s time, Kenyans will for the first time know secrets about the country’s natural resources spanning generations ago.

The Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) will unveil a time capsule in December 2016, which was buried at the agency’s grounds in December 1966.The occasion was meant to mark the establishment of national parks in Kenya, but next year’s event will give insights on whether management of the country’s natural resources has been on a progressive stretch 50 years on.

KWS officials say the contents of the time capsule remain unknown, except for individuals who participated in the burying ceremony.

“I think I will be in the time capsule myself,” joked KWS board of trustees chairman, Dr Richard Leakey, during a recent interview, but declined to speculate on the contents of the vessel. “Even the government of Kenya cannot open the time capsule because it is under the British Seal,” explains Dr Thomas Mwangi of University of Nairobi’s biochemistry department. “The government just inherited what was left by the British administration.”

Conservationists say time capsules were created and buried during celebrations to communicate with future historians and anthropologists about the realities of a particular time.

“The KWS time capsule asked the people at that particular time to put their thoughts together and be able to tell what they thought about wildlife conservation at that point,” explains KWS spokesman Paul Gathitu.

The unveiling ceremony will help the country to analyze whether the projections and desires that were pointed out at that particular time are actually happening in 2016, says Gathitu.

“This will help the country get into the minds of our forebearers to find out what they were thinking about wildlife conservation,” he says. “We have not picked the actual unveiling date but we will schedule it as close as possible to the date when the time capsule was buried.”

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