The Sh.460 million world-class waterfront project in Mombasa is set for completion next week.
The recreational facility at Mama Ngina Drive whose construction started in January this year will be handed over to the government on Thursday same week.
This was announced on Saturday by the Principal Secretary for Public Works (PS), Prof. Paul Maringa when he led members of the sub-committee of the National Development Implementation Technical Committee on the inspection of the project.
“As a committee we are pleased with the progress of the work and I can comfortably confirm that the contractor will complete the project next Thursday,” said Prof. Maringa who is also the Chairman of the sub-committee in charge of National government projects.
He was accompanied by Principal Secretaries, Joe Okudo (Tourism), Jerome Ochieng (ICT) and Japheth Ntiba (Fisheries). Also present was Government Spokesman, Col. Cyrus Oguna and Mombasa County Commissioner, Evans Achoki.
Prof. Maringa commended the Contractor Suhufi Agency Limited and various consultants for delivering the project as scheduled and within the original budget.
He said, “This modern public recreational facility will boost tourism industry and reposition Mombasa as a top tourist destination in the region”.
The PS said other than providing locals with world-class recreational facility, the waterfront is projected to attract over 1.5 million visitors during December holidays.
Prof. Maringa noted that plans are underway to have similar beachfront projects along the coastline and Kisumu.
Ochieng confirmed the ICT Ministry has already installed the necessary technological infrastructure for the provision of high-speed internet to enhance communication and security of the facility.
He said the provision of reliable and high quality internet was critical for the project which is expected to attract more international and local visitors to the coastal city.
“We intend to create a conducive technology infrastructure that will enhance communication and visitor experience through sharing of photos and video while enjoying the beautiful views of the Indian Ocean,” added Ochieng.
He said with high quality internet connectivity, the project will provide an ideal platform for establishment of innovation hub, cybercafés and also help youth to promote their talents.
Ochieng further said besides improving communication, there is also need to enhance security within the waterfront through CCTV cameras that will help to monitor movements and other activities within the area.
“Such facility of international status need modern security technology for the safety of visitors and those conducting business,” added the PS.
On his part, Okudo said the waterfront facility will raise the profile of Mombasa and other tourist areas in coast region and attract more international and local visitors.
He said besides being a major boost to the tourism industry, the project which is a joint venture between the national government and county government of Mombasa will also spur business and other economic activities.
“The project will also promote the City’s history, culture of the people and offer an ideal venue for festivals and other social events,” added Okudo.
Col. Oguna said the visit by the sub-committee was a clear indication of the government commitment to have the project completed as scheduled saying the waterfront facility will not only promote tourism industry but will also create job opportunities for the youth.
Ntiba noted that tourism was a key aspect of Blue Economy being spearhead by the government saying the ocean resources if harnessed well would improve the economy of the country.
The project which was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in January this year has elicited excitement in the tourism sector with stakeholders describing it as an added product to the tourism sector that already offers multifaceted destination combining exotic beaches, national parks and historical sites.
By Mohamed Hassan