A newly refurbished Sh460 million Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in Mombasa will now be handed over to the government by August 15.
The project launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on January 7 is now 75 per cent complete according to Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, who spoke on Thursday during a tour of the park accompanied by the National Celebrations Steering Committee.
The park has been selected to host this year’s Mashujaa Day celebration on October 20.
Balala confirmed the grounds will be used for this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations.
The National Celebrations Steering Committee, which is led by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, accompanied Balala to tour the site to assess its suitability to host the national celebrations.
Speaking during the tour, Balala said the contractor has given them assurance that the project will be ready August 15, and will be handed over to the National Celebrations Steering Committee in preparations for Mashiujaa Day fete.
“Today morning, we had a meeting with the Mama Ngina Waterfront Project technical team. The project is now at 76 per cent, by the end of the July we will get it to 85 per cent,” said Balala.
“Overall, the project must be done within the next 85 days,” he said.
Kibicho, accompanied by Principal Secretaries Jerome Ochieng (ICT), Kirimi Kaberia (Sports), Joe Okudo (Tourism) and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, said the committee was pleased with the progress of the project.
“We have been here since morning as the national celebration steering committee. As a committee, we are not worried with the progress and we are certain that the Mama Ngina Waterfront will host this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations,” said Kibicho.
The Kibicho-led committee toured the ground only two days after President Uhuru Kenyatta personally went to the ground to assess its progress.
The waterfront park, which sits on a 26-acre parcel of land facing the Likoni crossing channel, was supposed to have been completed by May 31.
During the commissioning of the project, President Kenyatta had given the contractor, Suhufi Agencies Limited, a 150-day deadline to complete the whole project.
However, due to changes in designs, it had to be delayed.
According to the project designs, the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park would be an integrated urban destination for culture, festivals, shopping, dining and relaxation.
Notable features of the initial designs of the project are; the state-of-the-art amphitheater, the Kilindini Cultural Centre, the Pigeon Towers, the traders’ kiosk, the leisure walk-ways, the ablution blocks and the two main gates leading to the park.
Balala said Kenya Power Company is now working on the street lights, whereas the contractor is finishing on the ablution blocks, the presidential dais and the cultural centre.
The transformation of the park located on Mama Ngina Drive into a modern public facility is part of ongoing efforts to restore the glory of Mombasa as a leading tourist destination in the region.