Counties

Mombasa's piling garbage hinders tourism recovery: Balala

Garbage piled up in front of businesses outside the Kongowea market in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG
Garbage piled up in front of businesses outside the Kongowea market in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG  

Mombasa County's mounds of rotting garbage are among challenges affecting growth of tourism industry in the devolved unit, Tourism Secretary Najib Balala has said.

Mr Balala said that although the port city is the country’s resort hub, its state of uncleanness presents a major concern to both local and international tourists.

“Rotting garbage in Mombasa is hampering the government’s efforts to revive tourism in this popular destination,” he said Monday, while calling on the county government to address an ongoing garbage collection crisis.

Industry stakeholders have in the past urged the devolved unit to play its part in keeping the city clean ahead of this year's high tourist season.

“In every corner of the town you travel, you are hit by sickening smell of rotting garbage or sewage emptied into storm-water drainage system,” Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch executive Sam Ikwaye said.

“For Mombasa to attract more holidaymakers, the county government must rid the destination of sickening filth,” Mr Balala told Mombasa bosses.

The county's leadership, which is grappling with the challenge of garbage collectors recklessly dumping trash in the city's streets, recently passed a Bill geared towards handling waste management.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho is expected to sign the long overdue proposed law.

Mr Balala was speaking during the launch of Inua Jamii, a social programme for persons aged above 70 years, at Tononoka Hall.