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January 22, 2019

Lamu donkey owners celebrate ban on boda bodas

A boda boda operator ferries a passenger in Lamu town.
A boda boda operator ferries a passenger in Lamu town.

Lamu town donkey owners and cart pushers are upbeat they will reclaim their place after the county government banned boda bodas from the Old town — a Unesco world heritage site.

Motorcycles had literally taken over the town transport, leaving donkeys and carts owners out of business.

Unesco had recommended that the donkey transport be preserved in line with the town’s status that was acquired in 2001.

Its alleyways can only allow for movement by donkeys, carts ad pedestrians.

The invasion by boda boda riders had taken toll on the town’s traditional image that attracts tourists. It was about to lose it when the county leadership intervened.

The riders were also banned from Shella Beach. They have been restricted to the outskirts of the town. They protested but the county government maintained its ground.

Yesterday, the donkey owners said they could not compete with boda boda riders. They welcomed the ban and said it would protect Lamu’s culture and heritage.

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