Design changes to delay Sh460m Mama Ngina Waterfront project

Significant progress made on amphitheater, the Kilindini Cultural Centre, the Pigeon Tower, walk-ways, ablution blocks and gates

In Summary

• The deadline for the project was to be May 31.

• Construction began on January 20.

The construction of the Sh460 million Mama Ngina Waterfront Park will take a little longer to be completed after the government changed its design.

The deadline for the project was to be May 31. During the launch on January 7, President Uhuru Kenyatta had given the contractor some 150 days to finish it. The actual works began on January 20, about two weeks after the launch.

The contractor, Suhufi Agencies Limited, has slowed down works, pending new design approvals by the Tourism ministry. Workers on site said some parts will have to be altered. The facility is being built on a 26-acre parcel facing the Indian Ocean.

Balala had said the project would be ready by May 31 and President Kenyatta would commission it in August. The site is expected to host the Mashujaa Day fete on October 20.

The contractor had promised to deliver the project on time. It hired more than 300 local youths to expedite works. The government will now have to extend the time.

It is to have a presidential dais and 120 stalls for traders. The stalls would be made from 40-foot containers.

“The project is bound to delay because of the changes in the designs. The contractor on the ground is awaiting new design approvals from the government” a senior official told the Star.

Tourism CS Najib Balala, whose ministry is in charge of the project, could not be reached for comment. He could not return calls or respond to text messages.

The Star could not also get a comment from Tourism PS Joe Okudo. He is the co-chair of the committee appointed by Balala to oversee the project.

The other co-chair, Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi, was not available for comment.

The park will be an integrated urban destination for culture, festivals, shopping, dining, and relaxation. 

Notable features of the initial design include a state-of-the-art amphitheater, Kilindini Cultural Centre, Pigeon Tower, kiosks, leisure walkways, ablution blocks, and two main gates. The contractor has made significant progress in almost all areas. 

On March 29, MPs toured the project. They said they were impressed by the progress.   

“They are moving at a very impressive speed. As Parliament, we want to assure the Ministry that even after completion of the project, they can still come up with other additional designs to enhance this place. We shall approve the budget,” Sports, Culture and Sports chairman Victor Munyaka said.

By then, the contractor had covered 45 per cent of the project.

(Edited by F'Orieny)