Residents of Ewangan village within the Sekenani area in Maasai Mara National Reserve are a happy lot after a group of tourists in collaboration with a local tour company brought ‘light’ to their village.
A group of tourists from mainland China and Hong Kong special administrative region that was led by Allen Yeh donated 15 solar panels to the village in an initiative aimed at improving their living conditions.
The relationship with the village, Allen Yeh disclosed, began seven years ago when he made a tour of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and developed a special love for the people who were living in the Maasai Manyatta.
He disclosed he was able to connect with the locals through a tour guide known as Michael Letura whom he kept communicating with, long after he went back to his home country, China.
The Chinese national said Letura informed him about the challenges the people face and requested him to extend a helping hand to the community.
Allen would mobilize his close friends in Hong Kong, USA and other parts of China and were finally able to bring the solar panels to the village.
“I met Allen Yeh seven years ago when he toured the Maasai Mara National Reserve and I was his tour guide. He took my contact and promised to keep in touch. My relationship with him has helped the entire village,” said the tour guide
One of the villagers, Ms. Mary Kaaria thanked the Chinese tourists for their kind gesture and support, particularly providing lighting in their ‘manyattas’’
“They have been very helpful to us. First, they brought us food and we were very grateful. Now they have brought us Solar panels and we know that our lives will be better. Our children will do their homework comfortably and will have a bright future,” she said.
She explained that the Manyatta, adjacent to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, that has about 20 homesteads, is an extended family that share their successes and sorrows.
“In this manyatta, though we are many, we belong to the same family and we know how to share the little that we have. Everything we receive from the white people we share amicably,” she added.
Jack Moniko, a youth from the village recalled how he struggled to do his homework because of the poor lighting expressing joy that his children will comfortably study even at the wee hours of the night.
His sentiments were echoed by Emmanuel Kaaria who thanked the tourists and tour company for the continued support saying they will charge their phones easily and use other electronics because of the newly installed solar panels.
The Super Africa Wildlife and Adventure owner Martin Otieno said it was always a pleasure to give back to the community that is adjacent to the National Reserve while pledging to continue supporting the village.