, MOMBASA, Kenya, Jul 26 – The Sh460 million Mama Ngina Waterfront Park facelift project is now 82 per cent complete, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said on Friday.
The state-of-the-art project, which was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on January 7, is expected to host this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations making the coastal city the fifth county to host national celebrations outside the capital Nairobi.
Other counties that have hosted national celebrations are Nakuru, Kakamega, Machakos and Narok.
Balala said the park, which sits on a 26-acre beach plot facing the Kilindini Crossing channel in Mombasa, will be an iconic tourists’ attraction site in Mombasa.
According to the project designs, the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park will be an integrated urban destination for tourism, culture, festivals, shopping, dining and relaxation.
Speaking during a routine progress inspection, Balala urged Mombasa residents to embrace the project.
“I’m optimistic that the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park will be an iconic tourist attraction centre. It will boost the economy of Mombasa by the number of local and international tourists coming to the region,” said Balala.
The Tourism CS said since the launched of daily trips on Standard Gauge Railway passenger services (Madaraka Express) in May 2017, the number of domestic tourists visiting the coastal city have increased.
“We are now hoping that this park will be an attraction site for both locals and international tourists coming to Mombasa,” said Balala.
Accompanied by Tourism Principal Secretary Joe Okudo, Tourism Chief Administrative Secretary Joseph Boinett and Mombasa County leadership, Balala said the contractor –Suhufi Agencies Limited – will hand over the project to the national government on August 15.
He said progress has since been made in the construction of a state-of-the-art amphitheater, a Pigeon Towers, ablution blocks, two main gates leading to the park and the Kilindini Cultural Centre.
Balala said a sewage treatment plant and a transformer room for the electricity will be completed in due course.
The project was initially supposed to be completed by May 31 but had to be delayed because of changes in design.
“We had to add an additional two months because of the alteration in the earlier designs. We had to make adjustment in the presidential square because at first the design was not meant for national presidential functions,” said Balala.