The Nyeri county government plans to open two more routes for hikers climbing Mt Kenya.

The new routes – Burguret and Kabaru – are expected to launch during this financial year to promote mountain climbing and expanding tourism.

The aim of the Nyeri county government was to create a favourable environment by supporting mountain climbers and other players and turn the region into a tourism hub, said Governor Mutahi Kahiga.

Currently, those who want to climb the mountain from the Nyeri side can only access it from the Narumoru gate route.

“These routes are going to increase the income of residents, especially where we have mountain climbers and guides. They will be able to move the tourists and ensure they really get to the areas of their choice,” said Kahiga. “I call upon the host community to establish ecotourism enterprises and I promise that I will support the endeavour to improve livelihoods and to avert human-wildlife conflicts.”

The county government is also going to train mountain guides at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology with the government covering the cost of training. The county has about 1 200 mountain guides at present.

“My government has planned to build capacity of guides and porters in this financial year to improve standards in service delivery and to add value to the tourists,” he added.