The scramble for Thim Lich Ohinga begins
SEE ALSO :Concern over low uptake of scienceA number of clans are said to have made some contribution in the establishment and preservation of the site at some point in its history.
Current occupantsAccording to the National Museums of Kenya, the Kanyamwa are the current occupants of the site after displacing the Kanyamkago. The records indicate that the Kanyamkago displaced the Kabuoch, who had displaced the Wagire. The Wagire had displaced the Kamageta clan from the site. Earlier, the Kamageta had displaced the Watongo who had also displaced the Wawegi. Wawegi had displaced the Watori who are considered to have been the original occupants of the area. However, the Kadem clan now fears that it might be locked out of any benefits accruing from the site, which is fast picking up as a major tourism destination.
SEE ALSO :From ghetto protest to United NationsThe clan is demanding that its contribution to the site’s establishment be officially recognised. However, other clans have opposed any changes to the site’s history records. “It is true that we got the site from Kadem, but by the time the researchers came to document the history of the site, the Kadem people were here and did not dispute anything. Why come up now?” said Ochiel Adiang’, one of the elders of the Kanyamwa clan. Dr Emmanuel Ndiema, one of the researchers who helped document the history of the site, admitted that he was aware of the emerging issues, but said the process of documenting its history was still ongoing. “More research can reveal more information which can help enrich what we already have, we are very flexible to partner with scholars who can still do more work to help build the information bank of the site,” said Ndiema.
Reaping benefitsArea residents have begun reaping the benefits of the site, with both the county and national governments investing millions in its upgrade. Already work is going on to connect electricity, water and other infrastructural works at the site. Its curator, Kelvin Somoire, said he was ready to work with more scholars to polish the history of the site. Somoire said not much has been written about the site, and that a lot of information might still be lying undocumented. “We need more scholars to help us dig up more information about the site,” he said.
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