NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – The Sh460 million Mama Ngina Waterfront project is now at 45 per cent completion.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said the contractor, Suhufi Agencies Limited, who started the actual groundworks of the project at around January 20 after the launch on January 7, is within the schedule.
During the launch President Uhuru Kenyatta gave out a strict a 150-day deadline for the project to be completed.
On Friday, Balala told the National Assembly Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism, that once the project is completed, the national government will engage the private sector to manage it.
“We will engage the private sector to manage the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park project. It will be managed through a public-private partnership,” said Balala.
Currently, the project is being done through a tripartite agreement between Ministry of Tourism, Mombasa County Government and the National Museums of Kenya.
The project should be ready by May 31 where President Kenyatta is expected to launch it during his visit in Mombasa.
Balala also said the contractor has been paid Sh35 million for the project, an additional Sh25 million has been processed and will be released soon.
Suhufi Agencies have also requested for a further Sh60 million.
“The money for this project is released in tranches. So far, the contractor has only been paid Sh35 million, and they are at 45 per cent. They have requested for Sh25 million and has also been approved,” said Balala.
The CS told the MPs that the Sh460 million budget for the project has been ring-fenced at the National Treasury, therefore, even if they are delays, the money will not be touched in the new financial year that starts in July 1.
National Assembly Sports, Culture and Sports chair Victor Munyaka said they are impressed with the progress of the project.
“They are moving at a very impressive speed. As Parliament, we want to assure the Ministry that even after completion of the project, they can still come up with other additional designs to enhance this place and we shall approve the budget,” he said.
The Mama Ngina Waterfront Park would be an integrated urban destination for culture, festivals, shopping, dining or relaxation, according to designs of the project.
It will include; the state-of-the-art Amphitheater, the Kilindini Cultural Centre, the Pigeon Towers, the traders’ kiosk, the leisure walk-ways, the ablution blocks and the two main gates leading to the park can now be seen when you tour the site.