The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA)Chairman John Konchella has announced closure of Mara Ngenche Camp indefinitely, pending an environmental assessment. Mara Ngenche camp has not complied with environmental requirements.
The camp has been ordered to undertake a fresh environmental assessment to determine its suitability at current site. “The camp management was ordered to demolish structures encroaching into the riparian reserves of the Mara River,” the authority said.
NEMA added that it will conduct an “audit of all facilities in Mara’s ecosystem in the next one month and all non-compliant facilities will be closed and prosecuted”. Several people on Twitter expressed their anger last week after Mr Najib Balala howing the wildebeests blocked from their annual migration. They were migrating from the Serengeti.
The great wildebeest migration is one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. It is one of the top tourist features in Kenya. Government officials also found other four tents within the camp that had flouted NEMA rules during the tour. Nagib Popat, director of the camp, which has been in operation for 10 years, has reportedly placed a court order against the closure. NEMA is also investigating whether the camp is legally permitted to operate at the site.
NEMA will be seeking to solve the curious puzzle of whether the hotel is operating legally. Upon which recommendations of a possible relocation will be issued. “I have discussed with Narok County Governor Samuel Tunai, about the camp built beside the Mara River, blocking the Wildebeest crossing. It’s very disturbing and we expect the Governor to take action and have the camp removed!” Balala said. “I have also insisted that we need a Maasai Mara National Reserve Management Plan, that will not only enhance biodiversity, but also protect our wildlife migratory corridors, from greed!