Mombasa Tycoons Clash With Residents Over Beaches

  • An image or Kenyans in Mombasa
    A file image of Kenyans flocking Jomo Kenyatta public beach in Mombasa.
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  • Residents bordering coastal beaches of Mombasa clashed with wealthy individuals in the area over the highly priced recreational facilities - and blockage of public passage points heading to the ocean front.

    Speaking during the tour of the area on Sunday, February 28, members of the Environmental Complaints Committee noted that they had forwarded a detailed report to government offices including the office of the Environment CS Keriako Tobiko.

    The report contained complaints from the region's resident association over what they termed as tycoon's attempt to turn the region into a shanty town.

    They complained that various parcels of land were being grabbed and illegal structures erected further narrowing pathways leading into the beach.

    An aerial view of Diani beach at the Coastal region
    An aerial view of Diani beach at the Coastal region
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    The members of the committee even noticed that some structures had been erected on the beaches themselves.

    "We have got to a point where all grabbed land must be returned to citizens. All the illegal constructions will be demolished. Especially those encroach pathways.

    "We have seen most of the structures are near the beaches and are releasing effluents directed to the facilities.," stated the committee's Secretary General John Chumo.

    The SG further promised to work together with other agencies including the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to ensure justice is served.

    South Coast Residents Association Chairman Stan Kensich noted that Diani risked losing its best beach in Africa title it has held for seven years due to the sprouting illegal hotels.

    "If we want to stop Diani beach from becoming a shanty town, and if we want to protect our image, we cannot allow all these illegal constructions and encroachments going on," he stated.

    The residents had complained that the land grabbing tendencies dated as back as the 1990s when wealthy investors began touring the region.

    According to research, the Kenyan tourism industry earned around Ksh37 billion in revenue from January to October 2020.

    National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) offices in Taita Taveta County
    National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) offices in Taita Taveta County
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