Rehabilitation of 140 museums and prehistoric sites begins

Gate to Kariandusi Prehistoric Site in Gigil, Nakuru County. January 23, 2020. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

History lovers from around the world and the Kikopey community gathered at the Kariandusi prehistoric site on Friday to mark the start of the restoration of over 140 museums and prehistoric sites in Kenya.

The event, led by the National Museums and partners, marked a much-needed intervention to conserve these early African Stone Age sites, which are currently in a poor state of repair.

Earlier last week, the Kenya National Museums and Wanderlust Diaries signed a memorandum of understanding to raise funds for the awareness and rehabilitation of the Kariandusi prehistoric site.

The cast of a Homo erectus at the Kariandusi prehistoric site in Gigil, Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Richard Kiara, a representative of the National Museum, expressed a desire to see Kenyans on tour, to recognize and support the course of renovation of Kenya’s museums as “they are our connection to our past”.

“It’s good to remember where we come from. The rehabilitation of Kariandusi is a noble idea, as we shouldn’t shy away from our past. It’s a step to encourage every community in Kenya to embrace their culture and support local tourism,” said Kiara.

Wanderlust Diaries was among 12 platforms that received a grant from Meta, formerly Facebook, and will partner with rehabilitated sex workers to offer touring experiences.

“Sex workers are a marginalized group. People don’t grow up thinking they want to be sex workers. Circumstances in their background force them to do so, and they are subjected to a lot of abuse. We have partnered with several social welfare groups and non-profit organizations to provide them with the life skills they need and offered them capital to open gift shops. We want to offer them alternative ways of living,” said Dr. Amakove Wala, founder of Wanderlust Diaries.

“We were selected by Meta, formerly Facebook, and went through an eight-month program that equipped us with skills on how to make a greater social impact. We also received a grant at the end of the program to sponsor a project of our choice, and so we decided to rehabilitate the Kariandusi prehistoric site,” she said.

Kariandusi Prehistoric Site in Gigil, Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

With the grant, the organization built the children’s dig site and improved the museum’s signage.

“We’re trying to merge the past and the future by installing virtual reality devices that allow tourists to live the experience of an early man,” said Dr. Wala.

“We want people to resonate with prehistoric tools and conditions so they can appreciate these artifacts more. We hope that when Kenyans reach the Kariandusi prehistoric site, they will have an experience that will bring them back.”

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