SAROVA HOTELS SCOOP KAMS ENERGY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2012
Last Friday saw the Kenya Association of Manufacturers hold their 08th Energy Management Award dinner, a day ahead of the annual WWF sponsored Earth Hour event which took place globally on Saturday night and in which the entire Sarova Group participated by putting all but the essential and security lights out for an hour.
Sarova Hotels again scooped several top honours at the award ceremony, incidentally for the third year running, and a beaming J.S. Vohra, Sarovas CEO, received the five top prices with two of their units making it to runners up spot too.
The fuel savings energy award went to Sarova Shaba Game Lodge, incidentally location for one of the early Survivor series, the electrical savings energy award went to the Sarova Taita Hills Lodge, the Sarova Whitesands Resort and Spa captured the service sector award with Sarova Lion Hill GameLodge receiving the runners up position, the sustained high performance award too went to the Sarova Whitesands Resort and Spa and the coveted new entrant price for SMEs went to Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge with the runners up position to sister property Sarova Mara Game Camp.
Congratulations to the winners for a year of unwavering commitment to conserving energy and reducing the companys carbon foot print in an effort to keep Kenya green.
In a related development it was also ascertained that the hotel group has planted nearly 50.000 trees in their Taita Hills Game Reserve, aimed to restore tree cover in areas which were impacted on by drought or damaged by rampaging elephant in search of fodder, further living up to their reputation as an environmentally conscious hotel, resort and safari lodge group with serious corporate responsibilities. Well done!
Archive for April 4th, 2012
SAROVA HOTELS SCOOP KAMS ENERGY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2012
GOVERNMENT IS LYING TO US OVER PLANS FOR LAKE NATRON, SERENGETI
Regular sources from Dar es Salaam and Arusha have insisted that the government is actively misleading the public over their true intent of constructing a soda ash plant at Lake Natron and the required road and rail links to the coast. President Kikwete last week talked to journalists and he singled out the Serengeti highway issue when he spoke of false and antipatriotic reporting. Why would he chose that topic? The Tanzanian governments own study shows how they expect traffic even on a gravel road to grow into thousands of vehicles a day. Can you even believe that at such a time they could resist the demands for tarmacking such a road?
They want the road because of the mining concessions beyond the Serengeti and towards Lake Victoria. And for the soda ash factory they are planning they need a rail link like the one from Magadi to join the RVR network to the coast in Kenya. And when the road and rail is at Lake Natron, does anyone believe them that they will not use the shortest route across the Serengeti to Lake Victoria and their new planned port in Musoma? The presidents mouth pieces are constantly on about the soda ash plant, his administration is mistreating and duping people at Mwambani and they are trying to secretly manufacture a supportive EIA by excluding key stakeholders and then peddle it like we told you, no harm is done. Why, you tell me, should we believe them one word. They have an agenda, and it shows here and there when they drop hints or speak unguarded but their intention for our parks and environment is very sinister one of them wrote following an exchange of information and opinions over the news last weekend that the Trade and Industry minister had reportedly revived talks with potential investors, inspite of the area in question being a RAMSAR Site and the existing EIAs all recommending that a wide area around the flamingo breeding grounds be left alone or else risk the extinction of the birds.
Momentum is now also visibly gaining speed in regard of the Mwambani port plans, where a global coalition is building up, similar to the Stop the Serengeti Highway campaign which has been hugely successful and driven government functionaries into the defensive, being confronted abroad about this wherever they go. No one is against expanding Tanga port, the way it is, in fact it is underutilized a lot. Having a modern railway run from Tanga to Lake Victoria is also not bad, as long as it avoids biodiversity hotspots and ecologically sensitive areas, inside and outside national parks and reserves. The government always makes us look as anti progress, to be denying the wananchi jobs and development. That is another lie. We support progress and development but with due care and consideration for the long term impact on the environment. Mining needs water and in semi arid areas, where is that coming from. Mining also can seriously poison the surrounding area and water sources, like in the case of plan to mine Uranium inside the Selous Game Reserve. What we say it be careful, dont rush, once the environment is poisoned you cannot reverse that fallout so prevent it.
It is clear that this controversy is not going to be resolved any time soon but with one court case now pending at the East African court of justice over the Tanzanian governments right, or not right, to build a highways, gravel or not, across the Serengeti, there is now scope following an appellate division decision that the EACJ is competent and permitted to hear such cases that more suits are brought against such plans in Arusha, after activists and conservationists have come to realize that the Tanzanian judiciary may just be a shade too susceptible to pressures from above. Watch this space as more news become available, often smuggled out of Tanzania via third parties to prevent detection of sources and the predicable brutal onslaught on them known from previous cases.
AFRICAN AVIATION TRAINING ORGANIZATION LAUNCHED IN NAIROBI
Following a 5 days of meetings in Kampala last week did ICAO move on to Kenyas capital Nairobi, where another series of seminars, workshops and interaction with regulators and the private sector is underway.
On Monday was one long awaited piece of the puzzle, how to improve aviation safety on the continent of Africa, launched when in the presence of ICAO Secretary General Mr. Raymond Benjamin the new Africa wide training organization association was formally baptized.
Said a senior staff of KCAA met during last weeks launch of the Kenya Airways share rights issue, when asked directly, though on condition of not being named for not being an official spokesperson: All over Africa we have a serious problem with getting more pilots. It is a bigger problem even in countries where aviation is growing at a fast rate, like here in Kenya, in East Africa. We do not have enough capacity yet to produce more ATPL license holders. When we launch the new association on Monday it is meant to inject quality criteria, set standards and promote the creation of government owned and private owned aviation academies. You in Uganda have the Soroti school but even there it is underfacilitation which constraints the output of pilots and engineers. Those are two critical areas. Kenya Airways now has their Pride Academy and simulators which helps in training but for most they send pilot student trainees abroad until they are ready. I think here we need to see the long term savings and job creation for East Africans when we say we must have more such aviation schools here in our part of Africa. Aviation grows almost faster than many other sectors and we can produce highly skilled individuals who can work anywhere in the world. And when you look at it, skilled manpower in engineering, which these schools also teach, attracts international manufacturers to consider putting up some significant MROs (maintenance and repair organizations) here in East Africa but so far they go to South Africa or North Africa for lack of enough homegrown and qualified personnel..
At the same function it was also mentioned by the Chairman of Kenya Airways Evanson Mwaniki that the airline has sought permission from the authorities to recruit captains from abroad to have enough crews for their growing fleet, until young Kenyans have acquired the skills and experience needed to step up and get their four stripes. Watch this space for regular updates and breaking news from East Africas exciting aviation scene.
MWANZA TOURISM STAKEHOLDERS DEMAND BETTER INFRASTRUCTURE
According to a regular source from Arusha did tourism stakeholders meet over the last weekend in Mwanza, Tanzanias lakeside port town on Lake Victoria, to discuss the way forward of how to better promote travel into this part of the country and have a greater share of tourism receipts.
Members of the Tourism Development Initiative and other groups came together to map out how best this will be possible and amongst the key issues mentioned to this correspondent was the upgrading of Mwanza airport. Said the source in an email received yesterday: We heard that Kisumu is now a big international airport with more flights and more visitors. We in Mwanza would also like to see such efforts by our government. The plans to build another international airport near the Serengeti are rubbish really. We have Mwanza already in place and with some upgrading it can go a long way to serve our part of Tanzania. From here it is two hours drive to the Serengeti, or with the smaller aircraft even less than half an hour to some of the park airfields. From Arusha it is a long way by road and takes a longer time to fly into the park. But from Mwanza it is so much easier and as an extra attraction we have Lake Victoria right here. Most tourists to Tanzania never see the biggest lake in Africa. We are losing visitors and revenues and TTB and others must now shape up and promote us as much as they promote the parks. Lake Victoria gets very little promotion from the tourist board and yet there is fishing, bird watching, sunset cruises, island visits. We should also try to have more airlines from Uganda and Kenya come here with extra flights to bring passengers. Lets work together to achieve better results here for us.
Another periodic source from Arusha added: Government could do a lot for us here. Instead of talking about a new railway to Musoma they should fix up and modernize the rail link from Arusha to Mwanza. That way tourists could even use the train which right now is too slow. That would be a better option and much cheaper too. And at the same breath I add our opposition to the highway plans through Serengeti. They should build the road around the south part of Serengeti as a good highway and then link Mwanza too. That way the road used now through Ngorongoro and Serengeti can be relieved of heavy traffic. This government should stop making so much noise about things which are not happening anyway and concentrate to develop and modernize what we already have and what they have let go into disrepair for too long. And they should also stop listening to pressure from KADCO (Kilimanjaro Airport Development Company) and allow more flights from Arusha airport which is easier for people to reach than driving so far out almost to Moshi. Sentiments often heard yes seemingly so far fallen on rather deaf ears.
Precision Air is operating several flights a day between Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro International and Mwanza and a source close to the airline made it known that they would support any initiative to promote greater travel to the Lake Victoria town should the tourist board roll out a campaign. Watch this space.
BRITISH TROOPS TAKE COMBAT TRAINING IN KENYA TO ANOTHER LEVEL
They should fight their enemies and not each other, and not in public. They wrecked the Sportsmens Arms Hotel in Nanyuki over the weekend while drunk. The English were fighting the Scots were fighting the North Irish and it was free for all. They spend a lot of money here drinking when they come back from the bush where they train for weeks, they buy a lot of souvenirs and even take safaris, but really, do they have to start such bar fights? said a source from Nanyuki where the incident took place. It gives a bad image to them and there is already resentment by residents with allegations of trying to procure women and then sometime later they have nusu nusu (Swahili expression for mixed race origin) kids so there must be some truth in it.
Efforts by the hotel management, the local police and the British Army detach in Nanyuki to keep the brawl under wraps and out of the media failed when locals tweeted and used other social media to publicize the situation, which is bound to aggravate already touchy relations between the Brits and the locals over allegations of chasing local women when frequenting local bars. According to the same source the British Army administration was also swift to settle the damages at the hotel, i.e. broken chairs, tables, glasses and other items in cash to keep the hotel owners happy who subsequently tried to even deny there was a major brawl. One thing for sure, the good soldiers wasted no time to practice their combat training they received, dishing it out amongst themselves in the absence of some real enemies at hand. This development comes only days after volunteers from the British forces had helped to put out fires in the Mt. Kenya and Aberdare National Parks, which had been widely hailed as an outstanding example of community relations, only to be overshadowed now by such hooligan behaviour. Watch this space.
Cheli & Peacocks owners Liz and Stefano have announced that they will pitch camp at Lewa for the forthcoming season and be at hand for guests, running Lewa Safari Camp directly and hands on between June and September this year. Visitors will be able to see the remarkable pair in action who have created over the past 25 years one of the finest collections of safari camps and tailor made or bespoke safari operations in Kenya, winning repeatedly top honours from the most reputable organizations awarding excellence in hospitality. Visit www.chelipeacock.com for added information on C&Ps portfolio and see some of the outstanding locations and camps they operate.
Meanwhile did Gamewatcher Safaris earn another award when Outside Magazine handed them their rating as Best Safari Deal recently for 2012, giving the company which also operates Porini Safari Camps, a priceless boost in publicity and visibility for their budget tented safaris. It is the first time Outside Magazine is doing such ratings combined with travel awards and it is understood that this will now be an annual event to give their readership top tips on where to go and whom to go there with. Gamewatchers Safaris is honored to receive this award from Outside Magazine said Dr. Mohanjeet Brar, the Commercial Director at Gamewatchers. This Adventure Camping Safari was designed to offer travelers a high-quality safari experience in big game areas of Kenya at an incredible value. We do believe that it is one of the best safari deals for an active traveler available for 2012!
Well done to both companies, always ensuring that Kenya remains a top choice as a safari destination for the discerning travelers from around the world. Visit www.gamewatchers.co.ke for more details.