Monday, February 20, 2012

From Isiolo with love

From Isiolo with love

What is a resort city? This is a big question among many Kenyans. Deriving a simple definition from, it is a town where tourism is the basic component of the local culture and economy. Read more...Resort town
Another subsequent question would be where is Isiolo? Isiolo is a town in the Eastern part of Kenya. For a more comprehensive description I will refer you to …Wikipedia
To visualize a resort city, think about Sun City in South Africa. The town is a ninety minute drive from Johannesburg, the capital. Sun City has acquired its international recognition from its entertainment spots, opulent palace, world-class Golf courses, walking trails, tropical gardens, and game viewing. These and more can be evident in Isiolo. However, the catalysts will be the will and touch of its people, the government, and the potential investors.
In the vision 2030 blueprint some areas have been proposed to be transformed into cities such include Konza city, a proposed Technology City in Machakos. Isiolo is one of the three proposed resort cities, the other two are Diani in Kwale and Kilifi. The government has also notably proposed an additional two cities, one at Kalokol in Turkana and Lamu. The area that has been set up to accommodate the resort city in Isiolo is more than six thousand acres and the entire project is expected to cost approximately 19 billion shillings.
The talk on Isiolo’s potential new look was everywhere compelling me to finally visit the Resort destination. Isiolo was never shy of offering its promising future and made my work easier in obtaining the information. The warm environment of Isiolo makes you remember Mombasa without any nostalgia. The proposed city is surrounded by astounding sceneries, to the north there is Buffalo Springs, Shaba National Park to the east and Samburu Game park and Ewaso Ngiro river to the west. Crowning it all, the southern part is marked with the world acclaimed Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Isiolo is a cosmopolitan town inhabited by many communities which distinctly include the Boran, Somali, Turkana, Samburu, Meru and Rendille. This composition validates its rapid growth and development. The facilities expected from the city are three to six star hotels, international standard conference centers, theaters, golf courses, and museums. Some of the resident expressed their anticipations for the changeover, but others claimed it is a theorist idea. This is a view confirmed when we engaged with some of the locals. Most believed that the frenzy around the area was due to speculators trying to cash in.
The ethnic conflict in the area has become a big challenge and in the recent past and has led to displacement of hundreds of people and violent clashes. These conflicts are variant some are politically instigated while others are water and pastoral land related. However, the people of Isiolo are hospitable offering a great getaway for tourist. The other inevitable challenge has been the scramble for land in the area by investors, most of who have duped the locals to sell their land.
As I was strolling in the town I came across some middle-aged men seated under an acacia tree chewing khat, popularly known as Miraa (Miraa trade is a big business in the area due to its high demand and availability from the neighboring Meru County). The men had crowded in a group talking in turns of how the area had changed in the recent past. But it was one of the men’s sentiments that caught my attention, he bitterly lamented of the perceived invasion by outsiders and how he had lost his three acre piece of land.
After going round the town we relaxed at the Bomen Hotel located down town for a cold drink and I had to take time to digest the spectacular scenes of the area. They serve nice tea! (I would be guilty of credit due). I regret of having not captured the wonderful scenes in my camera. Visiting the proposed Resort city was a great honour. I will be back soon.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't found the hotel at .
    Any reason?


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