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Tourism players want phase two of Dongo Kundu fast-tracked to boost tourism

Tourism players are urging the government to expedite the completion of the Multi-Billion Dongo Kundu bypass to improve the flow of tourists to and from the South Coast.

Construction of the road commenced in March 2020 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project was funded by the Government of Kenya and Japan. The Sh22B dual carriageway project includes an interchange at Likoni-Lunga Lunga highway, two bridges at Mwache (660 meters) and another at Mteza (1,440 meters).

Eustace Mutea, Deputy Director of the project says there are pending works on the last bridge. The contractor owes the government Sh1.4B, tourism sector players want the money owed to the contractor to be paid so as not to jeopardize the remaining works.

Mutea stated that the JICA portion of the works has been paid, but the remaining Kenyan government-funded works are yet to be opened to the public. Once complete, Mutea added that the project would be open to the public without any charges since it’s government-funded.

 Mutea stated that the government funds are not, allowing unlimited access without restrictions, and the movement of tourists from Miritini and Airport will be quick.

According to Africa Tours and Discovery Company Managing Director Nyaga Kombo, traffic gridlocks often experienced at the Likoni Ferry have been a headache to tourists. After the completion of Dongo Kundu, the cost of travel will be reduced significantly.

“It has always posed a big headache, no one knows when the ferry will break down, but with the Dongo Kundu bridge connectivity, it will be easy to market Diani as a tourist destination since it will be easy to access,” said Immaculate Nyaga, Sales Manager Africa Tours and Discovery Company.

Nyaga added that the time taken to get to the airport and the hotels will significantly be reduced. Tourists are now forced to leave the hotel four hours before their checkout time, due to ferry gridlock. Diani passengers are benefiting from the government’s 30 minute SGR journey, which is a commendable gesture as it reduces fuel expenditure and improves marketing.

Diani Hospitality Owners Association chairman Mohamed Hersi, expressed optimism that the project will open doors for tourism investment in Mombasa and Diani tourism hubs.

Hersi who also doubles up as the Polmans Tours Safaris Group Director of Operations said Diani is now banking on the upcoming infrastructures including the expansion of Diani airstrip to reap benefits and generate more revenue.

“We will be able to bypass the ferry, which always consumes a lot of good time for travellers, sometimes they miss flights, this bridge is very close to SGR and the airport, which means it will only take a tourist less than an hour to get to Diani,” said Hersi.

By Sadik Hassan

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