Abandoned Quarries Turned Into Water Parks

REAL estate developer Sultan Palace Development is transforming three quarry sites within its 43-acre beachfront property at the Coast into water parks.

This will convert the land, which has been derelict for over 30 years, into one of East Africa’s largest water parks dubbed the Sultan Palace Beach Retreat. The water parks will offer leisure features at the developer’s luxurious retreat in Kikambala, Kilifi county. These parks will have play areas with wet slides, tunnels, splash pads and lazy rivers for children’s activities.

Besides the water park, Sultan Palace Beach retreat will feature a five-star hotel, a clubhouse, kid’s club and a gym.

The Sh5 billion project is the latest in the multinational’s property portfolio adding to its holiday homes – villas, condos and beach houses – located on the exquisite beachfront property in Kilifi.

According to Sultan Palace general manager Liu Tiancai, the proposed project will combine Swahili and Arabic architecture to create “a luxurious fun-filled holiday paradise”.

The first phase of the project is set for completion in December 2016.

The coral mining quarry site to be transformed is among many in Kenya, which have been abandoned after exploitation.

Decades of coral mining degraded the land and rendered it nearly unusable, leaving gaping holes with a total capacity of 4,200 cubic metres.

“Mining and quarrying can leave permanent scars on landscapes and ecosystems. In one of the finest locations in Kenya, we found a considerable tract of land that had very limited use unless rehabilitated to fit into the project plan for the beach retreat,” said Tiancai.

Normally, the developer said, the pits would have been filled with soil obtained from other areas but Sultan Palace will convert them into swimming pools, a 1,000 square-metre water park and a water storage facility for the retreat.

“We are developing these neglected ditches around their existing condition to ensure minimum disturbance to the environment,” said Tiancai.

One of the quarries was put into temporary use as storage for much of the construction water, after which it will help Kilifi county as a water storage point, a project that will cost around Sh20 million, largely due to the excavation costs.

Another former quarry is being developed as part of the water park.

For the quarries that cannot be rehabilitated, the developer plans to fill them with coral stones from the construction site.