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Kilifi Dhow race suspended due to Covid-19

Kilifi annual Dhow competition has been suspended due to a ban on sporting activities in an effort to contain Covid-19.
Kilifi North MP Owen Baya who has been funding the activity through CDF confirmed that the event which is usually held on December 31 at Kilifi Boat yard creek at Kilifi old ferry will not be funded.
“We have been funding the event through CDF in the past years but will not be able to this year due to Covid-19 which has led to the ban of sporting activities,” he affirmed.
Contacted, Kilifi Boat Operators Association Chairman Captain Issa Shallo differed with the MP saying financial challenges had forced them to cancel the event and not Coronavirus.
“We have failed to secure financial support from other supporters after the area MP Owen Baya revealed to us that CDF will not fund the activity. We have always relied on CDF for the success of the event,” he said.
Shallo faulted the MP’s last-minute withdrawal to support the event that he had promised to facilitate last year.
“We were expecting to host a big event after our MP pledged to fully support us last year but it is unfortunate that it will not happen since we do not have more time to source for funds,” he said.
For some years, the organizers had been going through financial constraints after Safaricom Company Ltd withdrew their sponsorship in 2014. This forced the organizers to depend on proposal writing to well -wishers and the County government to source for funds.
They got a reprieve after Kilifi north CDF committed to support the event and has since then been spending close to Sh.700, 000 annually to support the activity.
The event brings together fishermen operating boats, dhows and canoes and also young and adult swimmers from the county and neibhouring counties of Tana River and Lamu.
Winners are awarded cash while other participants are given tokens of appreciation during the event which has been attracting over 100 participants in recent years.

By Harrison Yeri

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