- The governor said in the long-term plan they intend to have fire stations in all municipalities including Watamu, Mtwapa, and Mariakani to enable disaster response.
- The governor said he held a meeting with the investors and beach operators and expressed optimisms that tourism will boom again.
Hotels in Kilifi county that have blocked access roads will be forced to reopen them, Governor Gideon Mung’aro has said.
The county government has announced plans to acquire four new fire engines to help in emergency response.
Mung’aro said hoteliers will have to open all access roads that were closed to enable swift response during emergencies.
Addressing journalists in his office, the governor said during the fire that razed four hotels last week, other than the fact that the county fire engine broke down, there were challenges in accessing the scene of fire.
The governor said he held a meeting with the investors and beach operators and expressed optimisms that tourism will boom again.
“The challenge which we have that we have also discussed with the hoteliers today, is access to most of the hotels. We realised that for most hotels at the beach, there is no access to respond to disaster, so we have agreed that they open up access areas,” he said.
Mung'aro said they also agreed on ways in which the hoteliers can have disaster preparedness strategies to ensure even before the emergency response teams from the county arrive, they begin to respond first.
The governor said they have also in the supplementary budget ordered for four Intensive Unit Care ambulances which will also be distributed together with the fire engines to help in response.
“This will boost the programme we have for preparedness for the county,” he said.
Mung'aro said in the long-term plan, they intend to have fire stations in all municipalities including Watamu Mtwapa, and Mariakani to enable disaster response.
Already he said plans are underway to set up a disaster response centre at Matsangoni where the offices of the subcounty administrator are.
He said the subcounty administrator’s office in Matsangoni will be relocated to Gede which will ease response.
“Red Cross has already donated Sh40 million worth of machine which will be able to get in touch with head office in Nairobi. With a touch of a button, a person will be able to see in real time once a disaster happens,” he said.
On the disaster in the Ocean, he said they have agreed to bring on board all deep-sea fishermen who will have radio calls fitted in their boats to be notified incase of an accident. This will enable them respond in real time as the response team from the county will be making their way.
Mung’aro said his administration will work closely with hoteliers to ensure there is no more harassment of tourists by ensuring beach operators are trained and have licences.
He said they agreed with the beach operator’s chairman of Kilifi county to come up with ways of preventing harassments as it has negative impacts to the tourism.
“You can’t have 50 people chasing one tourist, they will go away. So we have agreed with hoteliers to device ways in which there will be ease of identification and ensure there are no harassment,” he said.
Mung’aro said some of the hotels have committed themselves to buy ambulances, emergency response gear.
Four hotels worth millions of shillings were reduced to ashes last week after fierce fire broke down in Watamu.
-Edited by SKanyara