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NMK partners with communities in heritage conservation

NMK in Kilifi

The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) has launched a programme to partner with communities in the country to conserve and document the rich heritage existing in the diverse sites and monuments.

The initiative by the Director of Antiquities, Sites and Monuments Dr Fredrick Manthi entails holding breakfast meetings with stakeholders and partners so as to support heritage conservation.

Channel 1

The First breakfast meeting was held in Kilifi County for Malindi and Gedi Heritage hub at the White Elephant Sea and Art lodge and was graced by the NMK Director General Professor Mary Gikungu, Kilifi Deputy Governor Flora Chibule, top NMK, and County Government officials together with partners and stakeholders both local and foreigners.

The state corporation that manages museums, sites and monuments outlined the purpose of the meeting which includes sensitising stakeholders on the importance of preserving the rich national heritage existing in the country both natural and cultural.

“This is a journey that we have wished to involve other people in different sectors because heritage is cross cutting as much as it is the mandate of NMK to preserve and manage the national heritage, we cannot do it alone we are not the custodians,” the DG said.

She said Heritage was all over hence the need to engage communities that were interacting with it.

Gikungu said they chose to start with Malindi because of its rich heritage sites including the cultural knowledge which is embraced and practiced by the community.

“The Swahili community is very rich and we felt this could be one of the sites to start with and also we think about the other cultural heritage products like the sites and monuments, we have Gedi Ruins, we have Vasco Da Gama Pillar, our school children come to learn about Vasco Dagama Pilla they have no story about it, we want to tell it better” she said.

The DG said they also want to enhance the knowledge of heritage both tangible and intangible in the counties around the Kenyan coast by promoting the conservation of the sites which are poorly known by the people and are not on the map of Kenya in some areas.

“Those are areas that we can work on to make sure they are attractive to tourists so that we can increase the number of visits and that translates into employment and income generation for the Nation,” she said.

On the documentation of the sites existing in the country, she called on stakeholders to help them fundraise as they cannot do it alone as an institution.

“We are lobbying for support from Many donors and even county governments to help us raise that platform of documenting our sites,” she said.

Kilifi Deputy Governor Flora Chibule on her part thanked NMK for choosing Malindi Kilifi county to begin the breakfast meeting which has attracted many stakeholders to discuss the conservation of heritage.

Chibule said Kilifi boasts of many sites and monuments which has positioned the county as a tourist destination.

“We are proud to be having Malindi Museum, Rabai Museum, Gedi Ruins, Kipepeo, Jumba la Mtwana amongst many others, also we have our Kayas because out of the nine Mijikenda tribes seven are in Kilifi and we have Kayas some of which are UNESCO world heritage sites,” she said.







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