• For years it has also been a major tourist attraction for both locals and foreigners who come to take photos, enjoy the oceanic view of the resort town.
• Metal grills once used to protect people from falling during high tides are gone and some people now live under the jetty.
Vandals have damaged the only fishing jetty in Malindi for scrap metal, leaving it on the verge of collapse.
The iconic jetty called Buntwa believed to be over 70 years old has huge cracks as part of its metal frames have been carted off by drug addicts looking for easy money.
For years it has also been a major tourist attraction for both locals and foreigners who come to take photos, enjoy the oceanic view of the resort town.
Metal grills once used to protect people from falling during high tides are gone and some people now live under the jetty.
The Progressive Welfare Association in Malindi led a clean-up in the area and found there has been massive destruction of the facility.
Malindi Beach Management Unit chair Yunus Aboud said the jetty has become dangerous because of the vandalism.
Aboud said there is an urgent need for people to be banned from sitting under the jetty as it could collapse and cause deaths.
“The jetty is in a bad state, I urge Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority and all responsible departments to come and access the damage and begin renovation immediately,” he said.
The clean-up was also attended by the police, KWS, Kazi Mtaani youth, beach operators, curio sellers, business community among others.
Aboud said authorities need to seal the huge cracks and the areas where metals are exposed.
“There are heavy vehicles that offload goods at the jetty which is risky but when some other departments are bribed they allow the vehicles to offload without considering the safety of the jetty,” he said.
The chairman said five days ago, vandalists stole an anchor of a vessel worth Sh5 million and sold it to scrap metal dealers at only Sh2,000.
He said the vessel is now offshore and they have been unable to take it back to the waters, causing huge losses to the owner. He urged dealers to buy the appropriate scrap metal.
Malindi subcounty police boss Joe Lekuta put scrap metal dealers buying metal from the jetty on notice.
He said it was unfortunate that rogue youths have begun vandalising the metal from the jetty that is a key facility for fishermen.
“As police, we will not accept it. The scrap metal dealers we will be going for them to inspect their licenses and the type of metal they buy. If they are not scrap metal and are from the streetlight or jetty we shall arrest them,” he said.
Lekuta said police officers will man all resorts until January 10 in a plan launched last week.
He advised residents to ensure they are home by 10pm due to curfew to prevent any crime-related cases.
Sabina Vivaldi, an Italian investor, said the jetty is a key area that makes Malindi attractive. She called on authorities to rehabilitate it to prevent loss of lives.
"This is one of the beauties of Malindi when you look on google and you search Malindi what you see as the first picture is this big jetty at the moment as you can see this jetty is completely damaged," she said.
Malindi is a renowned tourism destination and historical town with key ancient attractions like Vasco Da Gama pillar, House of Columns, the jetty, Malindi museums among others.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris