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Governor Achani promises to focus on tourism

Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani says the devolved government is out to promote sustainable tourism and enhance the coastal county as a tourist destination of choice.

Governor Achani says her administration will go out of its way to woo tourism investors to Kwale and called for increased public and private investment in the tourism sector in a bid to utilize the untapped potential to spur economic transformation.

She spoke during a meeting in Kwale town with senior Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) personnel led by KWS Senior Assistant Director Coast Conservation Area John Wambua.

She says the county boasts Shimba Hills National Reserve, Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park, Wasini Island, Diani Beach, Kaya Kinondo Forest, Chale Marine Park and Reserve among other sites.

Diani beach is the preferred holiday destination for many Kenyans and foreign visitors and each year it receives a record number of holidaymakers arriving to savour its beautiful sandy beaches and tropical ambience.

Diani Beach has been voted the best beach destination in Africa six years in a row by the World Travel Awards.

Achani says she is ready to engage key stakeholders to promote Kwale national reserves, nature reserves, parks and other protected areas as tourist destinations.

“We need to make our tourism sites attractive for the people and to promote our tourist attraction sites as avenues of revenue generation,” said Achani.

The county boss says the devolved unit has also embarked on the rehabilitation and construction of roads across the county for easy access to tourism sites.

“We are cognizant of the fact that for tourism to contribute to the economic growth of our county, there is need to invest in key infrastructure such as roads and open up untapped tourist attraction sites in the region,” she said.

She says the county government intends to make tourist sites easily accessible in order to boost the tourism sector.

She also says the county is embarking on some initiatives to make the local culture and heritage attractive to tourists as part of diversification of tourist products.

Meanwhile, the county government and KWS have agreed to work together in addressing the issue of human-wildlife conflict.

Often human–wildlife conflict is borne out of a competition for limited resources, including water and pasture and space to live.

Achani says the county encompasses a sizable portion of nature reserves which are also hotspots for human–elephant conflict.

Senior Warden Wambua says KWS is committed to work towards reducing cases of human-wildlife conflict in the county.

“We will be working directly with communities near the national reserves to address human–wildlife conflict since they have a huge role to play,” he said.

By Hussein Abdullahi


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