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Coast region gets ready for ease of coronavirus restriction

The Coast Regional Commissioner, John Elungata addressing a press conference at his Uhuru na Kazi office in Mombasa on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Photo by Mohamed Hassan/KNA.

The  Coast region is getting ready for the expected easing of coronavirus restrictions across the country.

The  Coast Regional Commissioner (RC), John Elungata told a press conference in his office on Tuesday that the region is preparing for the opening up of the economy, including the jump starting of multibillion development projects.

Elungata said the anticipated re-opening of the economy and the removal of a number of restrictions such as the movement of the people will be done alongside the public health interventions.

The  RC said the national government is set to speed up the construction of a pedestrian bridge across the Likoni channel that connects Mombasa Island to the mainland south.

He said the bridge whose construction period is expected to take six months will ease the perennial vehicular and human traffic congestion at the Likoni ferry.

The administrator identified the Dongo Kundu by-Pass and other key roads as some of the infrastructural projects set for completion.

He  said roads and other infrastructure that have been damaged in the region by the recent heavy rains will also be repaired.

On tourism, Elungata challenged hoteliers to improve their facilities ahead of opening for business, saying the anticipated easing of the restrictions will coincide with the high tourism season.

He also said the government intends to pump Sh.2 billion to support the renovations of tourism facilities and the restructuring of business operations by actors in the industry.

The financial support will be channeled through the Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC) to provide soft loans to hotels and related establishments.

He at the same time, said the National Hygiene Programme (NHP) popularly known as ‘Kaazi Mtaani’ was going on well in Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties.

Mombasa has enlisted 7,500 jobless youth while Kilifi and Kwale counties have each recruited 1,000 in the programme meant to cushion the youth against the adverse economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The empowerment programme which is ongoing in some counties worse affected by covid-19 has so far absorbed 26,000 youth and the number is expected to increase to 200,000 across the country.

Under  the first phase, 2000 youth in Mombasa were recruited from each of the three informal settlements of Kaa Chonjo (Mvita), Ziwa la Ngombe (Nyali) and Bangladesh (Jomvu) while a further 1,500 youth were enlisted from Old Town which is under cessation of movement.

The  NHP which was established by President Uhuru Kenyatta in April this year aims at creating jobs for thousands of youth and also making the environment healthier.

According to President Kenyatta, the inaugural cluster of employment under the program will involve youth in 23 informal settlements, spread across seven counties to stimulate local economy while advancing war against coronavirus.

By  Mohamed Hassan

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