KWS Chair Richard Leakey announces plans for mega museum

Kenya Wildlife Service Chairman Richard Leakey has proposed plans to establish a museum that will be used to protect the rich heritage and discoveries on the development of mankind. Establishment of the facility that will also act as a science centre in the region is expected to open up Turkana and North Rift counties as leading tourism destination.

“I came to Turkana for the first time in 1966 and collected the first fossils. This is the origin of mankind and I am ready to hold talks with both the national and county governments over establishment of the museum that will be a centre of attraction,” Dr Leakey said. He promised to consult the Turkana county government on the probable site of the museum. Speaking after attending the second edition of Turkana Tourism and cultural festivals, Leakey said: “The cultures of all countries will be kept in the museum and visitors from the world over will be visiting the region. They will come home.” Archaeological discoveries trace Turkana as the region where the first man lived, with fossils dating to 3.5 million years discovered in the region.

The region shot to the limelight in 1993 when archaeologists claimed to have found a human fossil (Turkana Boy) believed to be 1.6 million years old, earning the county the tag, origin of mankind. Turkana Boy is believed to be the oldest specimen of early man and a monument has already been put up as an attraction and was also supported by Leakey. “I have been given a national role by the Government and I am also working full time for Turkana,” the conservationist said. And leaders welcomed the announcement for the establishment of the museum, saying it would market the region as a tourist destination, especially now that North Rift counties have formed an economic bloc. Recall bones “We will support Dr Leakey’s efforts towards having the first science centre in Turkana County. It will help store all fossils and we will recall bones that have been taken abroad,” Governor Josphat Nanok said.

He added: “Once the centre is complete, the Turkana Boy bones will be brought from Nairobi to its original place. It will be a boost to our tourism potential as counties in the North Rift form an economic bloc”. Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago said all neighbouring counties in the North Rift from Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Turkana, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet and Samburu enjoy cultural diversity and welcome all visitors to tour available scenic sites. “We will support establishment of a science park and the return of fossils. North Rift counties are focused on unity for business investment and development. We welcome tourists to visit Lake Bogoria where there are birds, hot geysers, the hanging valleys in Elgeyo Marakwet, Eldoret — the city of champions, Turkwel gorge in West Pokot and agro tourism in Trans Nzoia,” Mr Mandago said.