Gov't to help reconstruct three Watamu resorts razed down by fire - CS Malonza

for Tv47 Digital February 26, 2023, 01:53 PM
The fire spread quickly due to the winds and makuti-thatched roof.
The fire spread quickly due to the winds and makuti-thatched roof. PHOTO/TV47 DIGITAL

In Summary

  • The Wednesday afternoon fire started at Mbuyu Lodge before spreading to Barracuda Resort and another neighbouring hotel. 
  • The affected investors say the Kilifi County Government was slow in its response to the emergency. 

The government has reaffirmed its commitment to support in reconstruction of the multimillion-shilling resorts razed down by fire in Watamu, Kilifi County.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza said the government will begin with compensating the small traders who had curio kiosks near the Mbuyu Resort and then look for ways of helping the resort owners.

Tour of Affected Resorts

The CS - who was accompanied by Kilifi North MP Owen Baya and top ministry and national government officials - toured the affected resorts from Mbuyu Lodge, Mapango, SDA Church Resort and Barracuda Beach Resort where she addressed the staff then held a meeting with investors.

In her address, Malonza said they will hold talks with the hoteliers through their Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers.

Malonza noted that during her assessment at Mbuyu Lodge, she established that there are curio shops of local women who had incurred losses and do not have insurance or are not in any form of associations that can compensate them.

She said her first priority would be to give them money so as to begin reconstruction immediately.

MP Baya, who is the Deputy Majority Leader of the National Assembly, on his part said there have been complaints from Alpitour World - one of the largest tour operators - following claims of looting of tourists property during the fire tragedy.

He said during the rescue operation people looted from the tourists who were struggling to go to safety which has raised concerns over the safety of tourists in the destination.

Tourists' Challenge

“They (Tour Operators) have said they are thinking of moving away from Watamu so they will no longer be bringing tourists, let me ask you 'if Alpitourword does not bring tourists again here will you have tourists in Watamu?'” he asked.

He told residents to safeguard the tourism sector as it was their only resource that can help in creating employment.

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