Kenya to Americans: Please Come Visit, We Love You
Tsavo East National Park. (Photo: Tiberio Frascari/Flickr)
It’s been a rough couple of months for Kenya. In May, the Somalia-based al-Shabab terrorist group bombed a Nairobi market, killing 10 people, and attacked a police vehicle with grenades in Mombasa.
Then in June, the extremists attacked a small Kenyan coastal town, Mpeketoni, while residents gathered to watch the World Cup, killing 48 people and prompting the British government to issue a travel warning against all “nonessential travel” to the country. Tourism is responsible for 63 percent of Kenya’s economy, and with the recent terrorist attacks and the travel ban of its largest supplier of tourists, the country is taking a hard hit.
The Mombasa coast of Kenya. (Photo: Thom Chandler/Flickr)
The hit is so hard, Kenyans are calling England’s move “economic terrorism,” as their beach towns lay empty and safari Jeeps sit in driveways unused.
Kwale County minister of tourism Adam Sheikh told the Associated Press, “Now terrorists are fighting back, we need our friends to stand by us.Not to leave us and make the situation worse than it already is.”
And so, Kenya is looking to its other friend — America.
On Monday afternoon, Phyllis Jepkosgei Kandie, the Kenyan secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, called a meeting in New York City for members of the media, or as she referred to them, “the fourth estate,” to plead for help.
A Kenyan woman makes baskets. (Photo: Climate Change/Flickr)