Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala has annouced the government plans to construct four more waterfronts along various water bodies in the Coast, Western and Rift Valley regions in a bid to boost tourism in those particular regions and the country at large.
Speaking to the press when he toured Hellsgate National Park ahead of the United Nations’ fact-finding mission, Mr. Balala said that the government had set aside funds for the envisaged projects two months after the completion of the construction of the Mama Ngina waterfront in Mombasa County that was officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta on October 20th.
“We are working with the other government departments to ensure that the projects are implemented within the shortest time possible,” he said.
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.
According to Mr. Balala, Mombasa will get an additional waterfront at the Jomo Kenyatta public beach due to its frequent visits by thousands of residents while the rest of the projects will be constructed in Malindi, Naivasha, and Kisumu.
While he did not mention exactly where in Malindi and Kisumu the waterfronts will be constructed at, Balala said that the one of Naivasha will be constructed on a piece of land owned by the Kenya Wildlife Service which borders the lake.
However, stakeholders and environmental experts are not too enthusiastic to have a waterfront at lake Naivasha. According to the chairman of the Lake Naivasha Water Resources User Association Mr. Enock Kiminta, the waterfront could be harmful to the lake.
“An environmental impact assessment should be done before this project is undertaken, we fear it may have negative effects,” he said.