President Uhuru Kenyatta’s stay at coast yield goodies

A section of Mombasa business people have hailed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s month long working tour to the coastal city as a ‘milestone’ saying it brought goodies to the residents.

In an interview with Kenya News Agency on Monday, Mr. Mustafa Mohamed, a prominent businessman with interests in the transport sector said the region’s top priority problems were given attention during the tour ‘such as road projects and the issuance of title deeds in Lamu and Mombasa counties’.

While in Mombasa last week President Kenyatta launched a shs.2.7 billion road project, a key link between the Kilindini Port and the Moi International Airport.

Other road projects within the coastal city includes, building a dual carriageway of the Mombasa-Mariakani highway, Dongo Kundu by-pass and Mombasa Northern by-pass.

Mr. Mohamed said when completed the projects will increase investment and trade opportunities in the East Africa region.

“Apart from decongesting the coastal city, it will also facilitate domestic and regional trade and the growth of tourism besides accelerating regional integration,’ he said.

He went on ‘once the project is completed, the transport and movement in Mombasa County will ease significantly, boosting industrial development and bring down the coast of transport’.

He said the plans to expand road projects are commendable as it will soon catapult the country into a middle income nation.

The businessman also hailed the government for seeking to address the emotive land issue by issuing 5,000 title deeds to the squatters occupying the controversial Waitiki farm saying it has been a source of conflict every election year.

The construction of Port Reitz-Moi International Airport access road is a crucial link aimed at providing the necessary connection to the newly constructed second container terminal.

The British government will fund the construction at Shs.2.7 billion, while Kenya will pay shs.2.5 billion for the compensation of land owners who have been moved to create room for the expansion of the road.

Mr. Ali Mwatsahu a local politician praised the president for camping in Mombasa since late December 2015 and unveiling development projects beneficial to wananchi.

Mr. Mwatsahu said the new approach where the president will be visiting every corner of the country to unveil development projects will ‘in the long run endear him to the people at the grassroots’.

“We have to express our gratitude to the president for undertaking massive infrastructural developments here at the coast that has the potential of changing the face of the country,’ he said.

Mrs. Janet Mirobi, a hotelier in the island said the shs.1.2 billion national street lighting project launched by the president in Mombasa during his stay would help Mombasa ‘realise its 24 hour economy dream’.

“The street lighting project is a key to a 24 hour economy and would definitely help business people diversify their commercial activities,’ she said.

Mrs. Mirobi said the shs. 1.2 billion Street lighting project would help in curbing crime and allow for a 24 hour economy adding that the project will boost service provision and create employment.

The shs.1.2 billion street lighting project dubbed ‘Mwangaza Mitaani’ will cover the central business district, old town, Nyali, Likoni, Majengo, Bondeni,Changamwe and Kongowea.

President Kenyatta also officially opened the English Point Marina, a Shs. 4.8 billion Iconic landmark located in Nyali constituency.

He also announced a raft of incentives that will revitalise the tourism industry and disclosed that visa fees for children under the age of 16 will be waived from February to boost foreign tourist arrivals.

The 4-acre ocean view, multi-million dollar marina resort features a 26-room hotel, conferencing facility, a roof-top restaurant, a casino, swimming pool, 96 serviced apartments – including eight penthouses – seafront restaurant, gym and spa, as well as a boardwalk with retail outlets, water-sports centre and fully-serviced 88-berth marina.

Local tourism players said the resort is a major endorsement of the recovery strategy of the country’s tourism sector.

By Hussein Abdullahi

Source: Kenya News Agency