The County Government of Kakamega has designated five heritage properties in Kakamega County marking a major milestone for the County with regards to preservation of its culture and heritage and affirming the County Government’s strategy and approach towards improving livelihoods.

The five are: Mawe Tatu Hills (Likuyani), Mugai Stone and Caves (Malava), Kambiri Hills (Shinyalu), Misango Hills (Khwisero) and Nabongo Shrines in Matungu and Mumias East Sub-Counties.

With the designation, the heritage sites will henceforth be regarded as essential County properties capable of creating massive job opportunities and enhancing the tourism sector as well as safeguarding the County’s culture and heritage.

Kakamega Governor H.E Dr. FCPA Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya thanked all stakeholders among them the surrounding communities, the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and USAID for their invaluable support that has ensured the process is successful. The NMK has assisted in mapping, documenting and guiding on heritage development in the County while USAID has funded a review of Kakamega County Tourism Policy and Kakamega County Tourism Policy.

“Designation of these sites will be used as an effective tourism destination management tool to realise enhanced marketing and promotion in order to attract tourists,” Dr. Oparanya said.

Kenya’s and Kakamega County’s Isukuti dance was in 2016 inscribed as an intangible cultural heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) making it an internationally recognised cultural heritage that needs to be safeguarded.

The Governor encouraged local communities and partners to take responsibility for and participate in the development and conservation of their culture and heritage.

Deputy Governor H.E Prof. Philip Museve Kutima said with the designation, the County Government will now establish a fund to manage cultural and heritage sites within Kakamega County and expressed optimism that the tourism sector will be enhanced.

County leaders among them the Nabongo Mumia II attended the event.