The Maralal International Camel derby will not take place this year following the Ministry of Health restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is the first time the annual international event is being cancelled since 1989.
Samburu County Tourism Chief Officer Joy Letoiya said the cancellation was inevitable due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has affected businesses countrywide.
“The event would have been held on the last week of August but that will not happen,” Letoiya said.
Agnes Ngaruiya a business woman in Maralal town said the Camel derby event is usually the high peak season for her clothes boutique since she sells many Maasai shukas to local residents and tourists.
“Two years ago, I won a tender to supply 1,000 branded Maasai shukas to a private company that participated in multiple items during the event. That will not be possible this year and we are losing a lot,” Ngaruiya said.
A spot check by KNA revealed that most hotels and lodgings in Maralal town are still vacant which is unusual in the month of August.
“We are always fully booked in August due to the numerous numbers of tourists who come to attend the camel derby, now we are getting four to five customers a night,” Ann Githui told KNA.