Holidaymakers in Kenya heave a sigh of relief after boat operators in Malindi resume business

Fishing boats in lamu Island
  • For the last 12 days, over 160 boat operators at the Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve have been on strike.
  • Holiday makers have had to miss out on important marine excursions after failing to get transport into the marine park.
  • Coast Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Assistant Director Arthur Todor finally managed to broker a truce between the boat operators and the park’s management.

Kenyan holidaymakers have heaved a sigh of relief this holiday season after boat operations in and out of Malindi decided to resume business.

For the last 12 days, over 160 boat operators at the Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve have been on strike paralyzing operations at the marine park.

As a result, holiday makers have had to miss out on important marine excursions after failing to get transport into the marine park.

“We are now in full operation and are calling on local and international tourists to visit the park in large numbers,” the association’s chairman, Twalib Albeity, said.

This follows a truce between the boat operators and the park’s management brokered by Coast Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Assistant Director Arthur Todor after hours of intensive negotiations.

Tudor has since urged holidaymakers to visit the park in large numbers as boats were now available and ready to provide services to those who require them.

Ali Baba, a veteran boat operator said business is back to normal since most of their concerns had been addressed by Tudor.

“We have been having a good relationship with KWS until a few days to Christmas when the park’s management introduced new levies which angered us,” he said.

“We are glad that our concerns have been addressed.”

The boat operators went on a go slow after the marine park management decided to introduce new regulations and levies without consulting them.

Among issues that led to the strike was a directive to park all motorcycles outside the compound of the marine park offices, with those wishing to go into the compound being charged a fee.

This directive, they claimed, was inconveniencing to them, since they were being forced to carry heavy equipment from outside the park to their boats, and that their motorcycle’s security was not assured outside the compound.

They also said they were also forced to pay parking fees for boats under repair.

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