Kwale residents participated in a peace walk in an effort to promote the county’s tourism sector Sunday.
They were joined in the walk meant to promote co-existence and reconciliation by tourism stakeholders, religious leaders and administration officials in Msambweni Sub-County.
This comes at a time the sector has plunged as tensions escalate in the country in the wake of fresh elections.
Local leaders underscored the need to create a consistent and conducive environment for tourists to visit the county whose Diani Beach has been voted the best beach destination in Africa for four consecutive years.
The Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Samwel Towett, urged locals to uphold peace and harmony, saying it is the most important ingredient for sustainable development in the region.
No meaningful development can be attained in an atmosphere of instability and chaos hence the government decision to fully support peace initiatives, he said.
He noted that the vital tourism industry can only thrive if peace prevails since uncertainty will only frighten off visitors to the region.
His words were echoed by Preach Peace Organisation Director, Jeffrey Mwariga, who said tourism is the county’s economic mainstay and residents must at all times refrain from activities that could compromise peace.
We have no cash crops and if tourism flows are curtailed due to security concerns then development in this area will suffer, said Mr. Mwariga.
Bishop Morris Mwarandu of the Lord’s Gathering Centre, said peace begins at home and called on residents to work together with the security agencies to flash out criminal elements living in their midst.
He condemned a recent incident where police officers were killed and their guns stolen while manning a church in Ukunda.
The culprits are most likely known and they should surrender the guns and change their ways because they are within us, he said.
Local youth were also cautioned against falling prey to unscrupulous individuals bent on using them to spark chaos for their own selfish gains.
Source: Kenya News Agency