Kilifi County residents are eying a state-of-the-art recreational facility as the county government commenced upgrading Mazingira Park to boost local and international tourism.

The phase I revitalization of Mazingira park is a partnership program that saw a commitment of at least Ksh 20 million from the Kilifi county government and Ksh. 10 million from UN-Habitat.

Presided through the county’s department of Lands, Physical planning, Housing and Urban development, the upgrade of the park is anticipated to restore the prestige of Kilifi town and glorify its aesthetic vision.

Mazingira park has been a battle ground of land grabbing and despite its close proximity from the town center and a vast Coastline with the Indian Ocean, the park that is capable of hosting about 1000 tourists has not been doing much.

The upgrade commenced with the recent WI-FI installation in the tourist-ideal green environment to increase public access to digital network through internet connection.

Speaking to the residents during the anticipated ceremony, Kilifi County governor Gideon Mung’aro commended the residents for actively participating in protecting the land from grabbers.

He said the modernized park will have two car park sections, two ablution blocks, path ways, restaurants, high mast lights and improved landscaping.

Mung’aro who is also the chairman of Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani (JKP) said that the revitalization of the park is in a row with the EU-funded Go Blue project aimed at reforming the blue economy in the Coast region.

“This park is for the benefit of the people of Kilifi. Upgrading Mazingira park will enhance the beauty of the Kilifi’s municipality and promote your physical and mental well-being among other benefits”, Mung’aro told residents.

“As Kilifi, this is the beginning of our journey to a sustainable urban development”, he added.

Ishakhu Maitumbi, Portfolio manager for Eastern Horn UN-Habitat, told the media during the ceremony that their contribution is derived from Kilifi’s potential economic growth through its coastal nature.

“We as Un-Habitat encourage urban development and creating those enabling environment for the cities to develop and become more prosperous. We  believe that the coastal nature of Kilifi presents itself with a lot of opportunities to go to the next level. For this reason we will continue to support not only Kilifi but other counties within the Coastal Kenya”, Maitumbi said.

Jane Kamto, Kilifi County Executive Committee Member for lands, Energy, Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development warned against individuals presenting fake title deeds in ownership of the public land saying that the government will soon go after them.

She said that bracing Mazingira park was amongst the top manifestos of the current county government, a move that will see the residents benefit from their own natural resources.

According to Kamto, the upgrade will attract public events like pubic holidays  and private events like weddings, birthdays and other ceremonies giving rise to local investments.

Over the years, Kilifi county has buried its vision under the shame of lacking a descent stadium or park to host high-end events.

Filled with indigenous trees, Mazingira park is located a few meters from Kilifi town center along the stretch of Bofa Road with an aesthetic view of moving vehicles over the Kilifi Bridge.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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