Maasai Mara smartcards may render many jobless

Thousands of youths could lose job opportunities as the Maasai Mara smartcards come into use, according to a new report.

The report by Standard Media says the use of the smartcards to pay for parking space at the world-acclaimed Maasai Mara National Park could affect over 3,000 families, with clerks and attendants facing the axe as their jobs are rendered redundant.

According to the report, this is a case where technology eliminates bureaucracy that the community around Maasai Mara benefits from to earn a living.

Last year, the national park was in the middle of a row between its managers, Narok County Council and Equity Bank over a new e-ticketing system. The locals had felt that they were left out of the deal that was initially meant to tighten fee collection from the park and enhance their earnings.

Though not favoured by the locals, the eTicketing system has been recognised internationally, winning a technology award in Berlin, Germany earlier last year after it tripled fee collection at the national park.  

Narok County Council is one of the richest councils in the country given its proximity to the Maasai Mara National Park, which hosts thousands of tourists each year.

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