Kenya’s wildlife state is in a pathetic condition, contrary to what the relevant authorities’ term it as stable. Ignorance of the conservation of wildlife has dramatically contributed to the degradation of environmental conditions, ecosystems, and exposing natural species to harm. The Koroga Festival planned to take place in Hell’s Gate National Park, is an example of how the state makes poor decisions regarding environmental conservation.
The Koroga Festival is an annual music festival that will bring thousands of people to the park. The large crowds and loud music that come with such an event do not align with wildlife conservation goals. By supporting this event, Kenya’s National Park is going against what is expected of a conservation agency. I urge all stakeholders to seek a solution that protects natural biodiversity and aligns with structural ecological policies and environmental conservation goals. While education and recreation activities are encouraged in national parks, they should not create a significant burden on the park’s wildlife and landscapes. Hell’s Gate National Park is an important bird conservation area and the Koroga Festival will expose these vulnerable birds to high noise levels, light pollution, and air traffic that will disrupt their normal feeding and behavior patterns.
While I recognize the event will benefit the economy of local communities, these benefits are short-lived. A brief boost from an event like this cannot replace sustainable, long-term revenue sources like tourism and outdoor recreation. Hell’s Gate National Park is already threatened by the construction of geothermal energy projects. The Koroga Festival will just compound the pressure being put on the area’s wildlife. We must raise the alarm now and protect the park in order to ensure it remains a refuge for both wildlife and people seeking to connect with nature.
The Koroga Festival highlights how the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) makes flawed decisions that are based on zero scientific research, influenced by corruption, motivated by money and disregard suggestions from environmental experts. State institutions, such as KWS, hold significant power, including the vitally important ability to conserve the environment. Instead, they demonstrate their weakness by failing to advocate for wildlife conservation.
It is painful to know that as I work to understand the fundamentals of conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources, our leaders deliberately destroy land that should rightfully be protected. What will be left for my generation and the next?
People must stand against environmental degradation. We must speak out against what is happening with the Koroga Festival. This event could endanger park wildlife, including endangered vultures. Biodiversity is in crisis around the world and the people responsible for protecting and preserving our natural spaces are the same ones we see at the forefront of destroying the land our forefathers fought to protect and conserve.
Don’t just sit there and watch them destroy Hell’s Gate National Park, Speak Out by saying “No” to Koroga Love Festival in Hells Gate National Park.
Written by Vincent N. Ontita
Conservation and Social Justice Advocate