Diani Businesses Count Losses After Owners Demolish Structures

  • An aerial view of Diani beach at the Coastal region
    An aerial view of Diani beach at the Coastal region
  • Diani investors claim they have lost millions of shillings in revenue after they demolished their own businesses to pave way for a Ksh16 million project.

    Speaking to the press on Wednesday, April 7, the business owners claimed that they have been forced to wait or 2 years since the demolitions.

    Traders demolished their source of livelihoods after the County Government of Kwale showed them an artistic representation of the project - and which was to benefit them once it was rolled out.

    The project was aimed at boosting tourism in Diani through the construction of a modern gate leading into the hub.

    A cottage located in Diani
    A cottage located in Diani

    The traders claimed that the project was expected to kick off two years ago, but had to be transferred to a less populous location.

    "They told us to demolish a section of our businesses because they wanted to put up a gate since Diani was ranked the best beach in Africa. That was like two years ago.

    "Now they have abandoned everything and we cannot carry on with our businesses," lamented Mohammed Shaban, one of the traders.

    "They asked me to donate two feet. I had a bar, a kitchen, and a lounge of nine rooms. When they showed me the artistic representation, I agreed with them because I would be a beneficiary.

    "I demolished and waited for them to bring the project so that I could adjust depending on its layout," added Shaban.

    The traders claim that the remains are an eyesore that has hindered them from doing business.

    The businessmen further argued that the county government, after ditching the project, kicked off another in Kwale town where they erected tents and gazebos.

    Jumping to the county's defense, a representative explained that the project had been delayed as it sought approval from various government entities including Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).

    "Now we have gotten KeNHA approval and that of KPLC (Kenya Power) in order to make the changes. What we need to do is pay a fee for the entities to come and transfer their property. 

    "When it is done, the contractor will return and the project will continue," she explained.

    A bulldozer demolishes houses in Kisumu County