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Kwale launches festive beach safety campaign

Kwale County government has launched a festive season beach safety campaign during the December tourist peak festive season.

The public is being urged to prioritize their safety and security as the Christmas and New Year festivities approach.

Area Governor Fatuma Achani said lifeguards would be deployed on Diani beaches and urged visitors and residents to choose safe areas to swim to prevent possible drowning.

The move comes after a seven-year-old boy from Changamwe sub-county of Mombasa drowned last week while swimming in Diani beach after he strayed deeper into the ocean.

In the last few years Mombasa, Kwale, and Kilifi have seen several fatalities as a result of drowning by young beachgoers

As thousands of domestic and foreign beachgoers flock to the pristine and immaculate sandy beaches the visitors are being encouraged to be updated on basic water safety precautions.

The devolved government which is spearheading the beach safety outreach program says with the expected increase in beachgoers they must be updated with safety tips.

Diani Beach in Kwale is the preferred holiday destination for many Kenyans and foreign visitors and each year it receives a record number of holidaymakers arriving to savor its beautiful sandy beaches and tropical ambiance.

The resort town of Diani with its white sandy beaches has seen the South Coast town voted the best destination beach in Africa for six years in a row by the World Travel Awards.

Achani says the joyous December and New Year holidays often bring the allure of fun-filled activities around water bodies noting that children should never be left unattended near the ocean as this can prevent potential accidents.

The Governor says as visitors and locals plan outings to beaches it’s crucial to prioritize water safety to ensure the holiday season is free from accidents.

She says the public awareness safety campaign will last throughout the December and New Year festivities and is aimed at sensitizing the public visiting the beaches on safety precautions to ensure the safety of lives.

She said boat operators are being asked to have adequate lifesaving equipment on board and beachgoers are being advised to cease water activities by nighttime and only enjoy the sun, sand, and sea during daytime.

“Kwale is ready to welcome holidaymakers to our beautiful, clean, and pristine beaches and we are deploying lifeguards to ensure the security of the beaches,” she said.

She says the county government is committed to mitigating risks and promoting a safe, enjoyable beach experience for both residents and visitors.

Governor Achani says parents should be more careful on arrival at the beach, especially during the festive season when the public beaches are overcrowded.

“Considering that thousands of tourists both domestic and foreign throng the beaches during festive seasons, the beach safety awareness campaign is aimed at sensitizing the public on safety precautions and ensuring the safety of lives,” she said.

The coastal county boss says those thronging the beaches are further encouraged to cease all water activities by 6.30 pm and keep in close contact with volunteer lifeguards deployed in all the public places.

Kwale and Mombasa have dozens of beach destinations scattered across the miles of the South and North Coast shoreline and usually teem with humanity during the Easter, Christmas, and New Year holidays.

Achani says with the increased human traffic to the beaches the devolved government has launched a safety awareness campaign that will showcase rescue techniques in case of disaster strikes.

She says beach patrols to help improve public safety will jointly be done by the county government and Beach Management Units.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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