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Rehabilitation of 140 museums, prehistoric sites starts

Gateway to Kariandusi pre-historic site in Gigil, Nakuru county. January 23, 2020. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

History lovers around the world and the Kikopey community convened at the Kariandusi pre-historic site on Friday to launch the beginning of the rehabilitation of over 140 museums and prehistoric sites in Kenya.

The event, spearheaded by the National Museums and partners, marked a much-needed intervention to preserve these African Early Stone Age sites, which are currently in bad condition. 

Earlier last week, the Kenya National Museums and Wanderlust Diaries signed a memorandum of understanding to fundraise for the creation of awareness and rehabilitation of the Kariandusi pre-historic site.

The casting of a Homo erectus at Kariandusi pre-historic site in Gigil, Nakuru county. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Richard Kiara, a National Museum representative expressed a desire to see Kenyans tour, appreciate and support the course of refurbishing Kenya’s museums as ‘they’re our link to our past.’

“It is good to remember where we’ve come from. The rehabilitation of Kariandusi is a noble idea, as we should not shun our past. It is one step toward encouraging every community in Kenya to embrace their culture and support local tourism,” said Kiara.

Wanderlust Diaries was among 12 platforms that won a grant from Meta, formerly Facebook, and will be partnering with rehabilitated female sex workers to provide tour experiences.

“Sex workers are marginalized group. People don’t grow up saying they want to be sex workers. Circumstances in their background push them to do this, and they face a lot of abuse. We've partnered with several social welfare groups and nonprofits to equip them with the necessary life skills and offered them capital to start curio shops. We want to give them alternative ways of living,” said Dr Amakove Wala, founder of Wanderlust Diaries.

“We got selected by Meta, formerly Facebook, and underwent an eight-month program that equipped us with skills on how to have a bigger social impact. We also got a grant at the end of the program to sponsor a project of choice, and that’s how we chose the refurbishing of the Kariandusi prehistoric site,” she said.

Kariandusi pre-historic site in Gigil, Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Through the grant, the organization built the children’s mock excavation site and improved the signage at the museum.

“We are looking to blend the past and the future through the installation of virtual reality equipment that can allow tourists to experience an early man’s experience,” said Dr Wala.

“We want people to resonate with prehistoric tools and conditions so that they can appreciate these artifacts more. We hope that when Kenyans get to the Kariandusi prehistoric site they get an experience that brings them back again.”