Mombasa faces crisis after UN report

Trouble brewing

The UN issued the warning following its audit which showed that there was extensive sea reclamation in the region.

Speaking on Thursday, National Lands Commission (NLC) Chairman Muhammad Swazuri divulged that the reclamation was destroying the historical status of the island and ought to stop.

“The UN conducts an audit of islands annually. It has threatened to delist Mombasa,” he said.

This comes amid a seawall construction to protect Fort Jesus from erosion, a project that was approved by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.

On Thursday, Mr. Swazuri and Joho stormed the construction site to halt the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) from continuing with the project. The Governor accused the contractors of going against what he had earlier approved.

“Can you stop! This is not right. Why are you reclaiming the ocean instead of putting up a sea wall? This is not what you had applied for,” he said.

Mr. Swazuri stated it was illegal to reclaim the area and it would be detrimental to Mombasa in terms of tourism.

“They have not even passed by our office as required. The idea to reclaim the land is not acceptable because such land is not allowed to be allocated as per the law,” he noted.

The NLC Chair added: “We cannot allow the reclaiming of land here because of the historical importance and ecological status of this area. I have directed the NMK to stop it immediately”.

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