This year’s Mashujaa day celebrations held in Kirinyaga County came as a relief to many if not all Kenyans, particularly those with interests in Laikipia county.
Before the implementation of the dusk to a down countrywide curfew that has been in effect close to two years, there were many people visiting towns in Laikipia as an escape for weekends and other holidays. However, the just-ended curfew has many negative impacts on the number of people visiting towns and other attraction cites within the county borders.
The county government did not relax on ensuring that Laikipia remains the preferred destination for both local and international tourism. It has been putting efforts to ensure both tourists and investors find what they look for in this county. Therefore, the opening up of the country and lifting of curfew meets Laikipia welcoming more people to enjoy and invest.
Going by the slogan destination Laikipia, the government has been refurbishing tourist attraction sites to accommodate more people at a go and ensure their safety. Thomson Falls in Nyahururu for example has now clear and strong staircase recently constructed by the county government. Visitors can comfortably have a view of the 74-meters fall safely after the construction of grills.
Charges at the falls currently stand at Ksh. 70 for adults who are Kenyans and Kshs. 30 for children below 10 years. Visitors who are non-Kenyans are to Ksh. 300 and Ksh. 200 for the children below age 10.
The government has also been helping women groups in the northern part of the county involved in beadworks which have become a symbol of loyalty and love for Kenya.
Destination Laikipia has not been limited to just visitors but to those willing to tap to the Ksh. 2.7 trillion CEREB economy. Laikipia is strategically positioned for any investor willing to trade with the ten Mt. Kenya counties and even for export.
Railway line that connects Laikipia to the capital city provides good logistics to move bulky material to be sold in other counties and countries, from Laikipia. Already, Kenya Pipeline has a depot in Nanyuki and usually uses train to transport fuel in the region.
Livestock farmers are reviewing to take advantage of the train to transport their animals to KMTC in Athi River. A person who visited Nanyuki, Nyahururu, Rumuruti, and other major towns can tell the infrastructure disparity between then and now. This has not just happened but it is within an intention to create an enabling environment for business to thrive. Good roads are enablers for economic advancement for the people.
The good roads have resulted in more investors and entrepreneurs flocking these own as they are assured of good returns owing to the reduced costs of production. The county government of Laikipia has a running fund for loaning Laikipia businesses at an interest rate of 7.5 percent, and the government pays the rest 5 percent.
This is meant to cushion the enterprises from the harsh economic status brought by COVID-19. These businesses are expected to be more advantageous coupled with the reopening of the economy to run 24/7. Job creation in Laikipia is expected to rise with eateries and bar’s extended opening hours and increase in sit-in capacity. These premises will definitely require more workers to cater for the increased demand.