Malindi banking on waterfront to attract festive season tourists

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi (in black T-shirt) and top county officials inspect the tarmacking of the World Bank-funded Sh67 million ABSA- Mtangani-GK Prison Road in Malindi on November 19, 2020. The governor also inspected the upgrading of Malindi Waterfront which will be completed by December. 

Photo credit: Charles Lwanga | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Malindi beachfront upgrading project covers a distance of about nine kilometres from the Vasco Da Gama Pillar to the Sabaki Bridge.
  • Kilifi County government optimistic that the waterfront upgrading project will rival Ushaka waterfront in South Africa once complete.

The Sh80 million upgrading of Bunthwani waterfront in Malindi, Kilifi County, which will be complete by next month, is expected to attract more tourists during the Christmas and New Year season.

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi said the first phase of the Malindi waterfront project will have parking, beach soccer pitches, restaurants, leisure park, toilets and an information centre, among other facilities.

“The Malindi beachfront shall be a game-changer in the tourism industry since it will promote sports tourism,” he said, adding, “it is the only place in the country which has beach soccer and other sports.”

Mr Kingi said the beachfront will be completed in a few weeks to enable revellers to celebrate Christmas or New Year festivities at the place.

The entire Malindi beachfront upgrading project covers a distance of about nine kilometres from the Vasco Da Gama Pillar to the Sabaki Bridge, similar to the Mama Ngina Water Front Project in Mombasa.

The county government is optimistic that the Malindi waterfront upgrading project will rival the Ushaka waterfront in South Africa once complete.

At the same time, Mr Kingi assured domestic and international tourists that hotels in Malindi are safe from Covid-19 after Ministry of Health protocols and guidelines were put in place.

“Officers from the Ministry of Health and Covid-19 committee have inspected the hotels and certified their operation,” he said, adding “I encourage tourists to visit the resort during the December festivities without any worry.”

The governor was responding to reports that tourists had shunned Malindi after cases of Covid-19 infections began spiking in the resort town.

Road construction

Earlier, Mr Kingi, accompanied by county executive member of roads Prof Japheth Mwatela, his Land counterpart Maureen Mwangovya, roads chief officer Kenneth Kazungu and contractors, among other county officials, had inspected construction of the BP-Sala Gate Road.

He said construction of the Sh50 million BP-Sala Gate Road, which connects to Tamani Jua along Malindi-Lamu Road, will ease traffic congestion in the resort town.

“The road will act as a bypass for vehicles heading from Mombasa to Lamu Road, also those from Marafa and Magarini going to Mombasa and Bus stage, thereby decongesting the town,” he said.

The governor said he was relieved to proceed with road construction after the High Court suspended an order stopping tarmacking of the Sh67 million ABSA-Mtangani GK Prison Road, funded by the World Bank.

“The project had kicked off well and it could even be complete by now but some people moved to court to stop it,” he said.

“But this week, the High Court issued orders to proceed with the project as the case proceeds,” he added.

In September this year, a group of businessmen under the aegis of Malindi Progressive Welfare Association moved to court to oppose the tarmacking of the ABSA-Mtangani GK Prison Road as approved by the County Government of Kilifi, instead demanding a concrete paving blocks, commonly known as cabro, road.

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