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Economy

Nine national heritage sites face extinction, Ouko warns

Kenyatta House Museum
Kenyatta House Museum in Maralal. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nine national heritage assets, including the Kenyatta House in Lodwar, are facing imminent extinction if quick action is not taken to preserve them, the State auditor has warned.

“The state of affairs of the historical sites, if not urgently addressed, will impact negatively on irreplaceable National Heritage,” Auditor-General Edward Ouko says.

Mr Ouko singled out the Vasco da Gama Pillar in Malindi, Portuguese Chapel also in Malindi and Malindi Ethnographic Museum as some of the assets that face extinction due to effects of high tides, lack of ownership documents and occupation by illegal inhabitants.

Others staring at extinction are Lamu Museum, Shimoni Museum, Jumba La Mtwana Museum in Mtwapa, Meru Museums, Njuri Ncheke Building in Meru and the Kenyatta House in Lodwar.

Mr Ouko said the Kenyatta House in Lodwar is not properly secured with a perimeter fence and the national as well as county governments have put up permanent premises on the land without any documentation or lawful authority. Mr Ouko said the Portuguese Chapel was renovated by a neighbouring private developer, but has no ownership documents while the Vasco da Gama Pillar is facing extinction due to effects of high sea tides.

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“Part of the Malindi Ethnographic Museum land is under occupation by illegal inhabitants who are now laying claim to the land. Lamu Museums land has been encroached by private developers and the local community,” Mr Ouko said.

He said Shimoni Museum station has been neglected and the historical building is dilapidated while the grave sites are at risk of being washed into the high tides He said part of the museum land has been encroached and a permanent wall erected by the Department of Fisheries.

The ruins at Jumba La Mtwana Museum are fast disintegrating with some of the walls crumbling to the ground after having minimal restoration.

“The side bordering the ocean is fast being washed away by the high tides. There are also encroachments of the ruins by private individuals,” Mr Ouko said in audit report of the National Museums of Kenya.

“Meru Museums building is crumbling down due to poor maintenance and invasion of aunts that have destroyed most of the works. No effort appears to have been made to restore the historical building,” Mr Ouko said.

The structure of the Njuri Ncheke Building is deteriorating fast and within imminent danger of collapse under the weight of the roof.

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