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Hoteliers want dredging at Mombasa port halted

By Sophie Njoka
Wednesday, October 9th, 2019
Hoteliers want dredging at Mombasa port halted.

The Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC) has asked the government to halt the ongoing dredging of the Port of Mombasa as well as dumping of waste in South Coast, saying the twin activities could deal a big blow to tourism.

It welcomed the intervention by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga,  who last Saturday, asked the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to stop the dredging works at the Likoni crossing channel to clear the area and help in the recovery of mother and child who perished in the channel on September 29.

The KAHC executive officer Sam Ikwaye said dredging and sand harvesting activities in Diani would have far-reaching consequences on marine life, coral reefs and white sand beach, which remain a tourist attraction at the coast.

He said Diani Beach has over the years been voted Africa’s leading destination by the World Travel Awards because of its pristine state and efforts by residents and hoteliers to protect the marine environment. It has also been voted among the 25 best beaches in the world.

“Since 2017, contractors have harvested sand amounting to eight million cubic metres of sand and dumped the waste in Diani, this has greatly affected the marine and coral reefs, we, therefore, call on the government to stop the exercise,” he said. The dredging is meant to widen the channel to allow bigger ships to call at the port. 

Ikwaye called for legislation and policies to protect endangered marine life and economic gains through tourism.