Kenyan court blocks closure of tourist camp on Mara River

Friday September 25 2020


The Citizen Reporter
By The Citizen Reporter
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The controversial tourist camp built along Mara River that came under the spotlight for blocking wildebeest migration will remain open for more than four weeks.
This is after a High Court in Kenya barred the country’s environmental watchdog from shutting down the Mara Ngenche Safari Camp pending hearing and determination of a case filed by the facility.
Last week, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) ordered closure of the camp situated within the Maasai Mara National Reserve following public uproar after it emerged the facility was blocking wildebeest crossing during the migration season.
The Maasai Mara is on the Kenyan side and the Serengeti in Tanzania are famous for the annual migration over 1.5 million white-bearded (or brindled) wildebeest and 250,000 zebra.
This prompted owners of the camp to file an urgent application on Monday to block the planned closure.
Through their lawyer Mohammed Abdullahi the petitioners asked the court to issue conservatory orders restraining the government agency from interfering with the facility until their case is heard and determined.
According to Citizen TV, in the Tuesday ruling, Environment and Land Court judge Justice Mohamed Kullow granted the camp an order to continue operating, quashing the directive issued by NEMA on September 17, 2020 to shut down operations of the facility.
Kullow directed the applicant to file and serve the substantive motion within 21 days with a directive to the respondents (NEMA) as the case will be mentioned on October 22 for further directions.