Human rights issues in the conservation of cultural property in Kenya
Wahome’s paper reviewed The Hague Convention, the United Nations Economic and Social-cultural Organization (UNESCO) Declaration on Safeguarding Culture and the African Convention on Human and People’s Rights. He observed that the UNESCO declaration integrates cultural properties with people’s culture (architectural monuments, artifacts, cultural sites and heritage). In Kenya, we have a problem with the protection of cultural property. For example, the Vigaango memorial sites in Miji Kenda are endangered since they have been sold off by unscrupulous profiteers. Certain coastal towns are also increasingly loosing vital materials through local vandalism. Wahome urged the government to take advantage of the wealth of these resources for the benefit of the local communities. The same case applies to the Turkana cultural complex and the El Molo cultural area where cultural resources can be harnessed. He revealed that almost 50 per cent of tourists visiting the country are motivated by cultural activities, an opportunity to be exploited for wealth creation.