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DEMANDS SH10M COMPENSATION

Omtatah wants court to suspend park public participation deadline

Activist also petitions court to direct CS to provide all information sought

In Summary

• There has been no management plan for the park in the past 10 years. The previous one expired in 2010.

• Omtatah says public should be given 90 days to review documents 

Activist Okiya Omtatah a
Activist Okiya Omtatah a
Image: FILE

 

Activist Okiya Omtatah has petitioned the High Court to suspend Tuesday’s deadline for the public to raise their concerns over the proposal to conduct a face-lift of the Nairobi National Park.

The Kenya Wildlife Service's Draft Management Plan 2020-2030 has proposed a face-lift to the park “to improve its attractiveness.”  Under the plan, a multi-billion ecolodge will also be put up inside the park.

 

The deadline to raise concerns was set by Tourism CS Najib Balala.

Omtatah says to be able to participate in the process of reviewing the draft, he requires access to certain information and documents which inform the draft management plan. The documents are in the custody of the CS and the Kenya Wildlife Service director-general.

Omtatah says once the documents are supplied, he and the public should be given 90 days to review them and participate in the park review plan.

The activist said both the CS and the director-general have refused to give him the requested information.

The documents include details of the composition and legality of the task force that developed the master plan and their legal basis.  

Also sought is full disclosure on the arrangements between the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which sits on KWS land at the Nairobi National Park and at the Tsavo East National Park and generates funds from Kenya’s elephants.

 

The activist also wants full disclosure of all incomes from lease or other arrangements from Kenya Power, the standard gauge railway, Kenya Oil, Nairobi tented camp safari walk and orphanage among others.

He says the information and documents sought are required to facilitate the informed public participation in the all-important process of reviewing the draft management plan.

He wants the court to suspend the June 30 deadline. He also wants a Sh10 million compensation for the violation of his rights by the CS.

There has been no management plan for the Nairobi National Park for the last 10 years. The previous one expired in 2010.

In the new plan, KWS wants to address 12 issues facing the only park in a city in the world.

The issues are habitat loss and fragmentation in the dispersal areas, decline in the wildlife population, poaching, human-wildlife conflicts, alien and invasive species, pollution, mining and quarries.  

The others are climate change, low park visitation, increased urbanisation, settlement threats on the sheep and goats ranch, and infrastructure development.  

The management plan will be scaled down to 10 national parks to improve their attractiveness.

 

Edited by P.O