On Friday, Okoa Mombasa Coalition, a group of individuals, civil society, movements, and workers’ unions that have united out of concern for the livelihoods and wellbeing of the residents of Mombasa, petitioned Mombasa County Assembly to rename the park which was refurbished at a cost of Sh460 million ($4.6 million).
The coalition wants the assembly to conduct a forum with structured public participation to get a name that reflects the historical and cultural heritage of Mombasa – ‘Mama Ngina’ doesn’t.
On October 20th, President Uhuru Kenyatta officially opened the seaside public park for the 10th Mashujaa Day fete.
The 26-acre park that overlooks the Kilindini Channel in Mombasa has been transformed into an integrated urban tourist attraction site. The refurbishment included landscaping and paving the waterfront with concrete blocks, construction of an amphitheatre, the Kilindini Cultural Centre, ablution blocks and two main gates.
Giving locals a chance to take part in the name-change, the coalition believes, will be exercising local participation for local resources – a critical mission for the movement.
This also strengthens devolution by devolving power and responsibilities from the national government to county governments.
On Monday, High Judge Patrick Otieno also barred the board of Mama Ngina Waterfront park from taking over the management of the park from the Mombasa County government.