Governor Nderitu Gachagua said that the corridor was an initiative of his government Kenya Wildlife Services and other conservationists aiming at conserving wildlife and environment as well as promoting tourism in the area.
Speaking on Tuesday after an aerial tour of the two water towers, Gachagua added that once the corridor is fenced the county expected to benefit immensely from tourism proceeds, as the elephant migration would be a spectacle to behold almost similar to the wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara.
“We are hoping that once the project is complete, its going to be our ninth wonder of the world rivaling the wildebeest migration in the Mara National Park.” Gachagua said.
The governor further said that the corridor would open up the area to investments in the hospitality industry adding that the county looked forward to investors putting up holiday homes along some sections of the corridor where holidaymakers could get a view of the animals from the comfort of their balconies.
He revealed that a sub-committee of stakeholders involving KWS, Kenya Forest Services, conservationists and tourism officials from his government was in consultation with land owners whose parcels fall within the corridor with a view of compensating them to relocate or be partners in the project.
“Am happy that the few land owners within the corridor are upbeat about the project concept and have shown willingness to cooperate and make it a success.” Gachagua said.
Rhino Ark Charitable Trust Executive Director Christian Lamberechts agreed with the governor over the proposed corridor saying that it would greatly minimise human wildlife conflicts that have been common amongst people living on the edge of the two ecosystems as elephants migrating will not have to pass through farms and human habitats.
Lamberechts, an ecological expert, added that the project would help change perception of forest edge communities towards wildlife as they would start appreciating their importance once they start benefiting economically from their existence.
“We are looking at a win-win situation for all as wildlife living on one side will benefit as well as people living in the area as conflicts as a result of competition for resources would come to an end.” Lamberechts said.
The Rhino Ark boss observed that the elephant migratory corridor existed naturally in the past between Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare but human settlements and encroachment had interfered with it leading to the numerous human wildlife conflicts.
Elephants migrate from one ecosystem to another to allow for regeneration as well as searching for naturally occurring salt licks and giving birth.