Swazuri authorizes construction of Fort Jesus sea wall

Construction workers working on the Cofferdam being put to facilitate the construction of the sea wall at the Fort Jesus Museum PHOTO JANET MURIKIRA

Mombasa,KENYA: National Land commission chair Mohamed Swazuri has given the go-ahead for the construction of a sh.498 million seawall at the Fort Jesus Museum.

Swazuri who was speaking at the Fort Jesus museum on Tuesday, said that the confrontation last week between  NLC, Mombasa county government and the National Museums of Kenya, was as a result of miscommunication about the construction of the wall.

“The off-sight here is that we were neither informed neither were we involved,” Swazuri told reporters.

Swazuri told reporters that the commission held talks with the National Museums of Kenya over the weekend to forge a way over the construction and both reached a consensus that a wall was essential to prevent the erosion of the historical site which was being caused by the accelerated increase in sea levels.

The Director general of the National Museums of Kenya Mzalendo Kibunja said that several stakeholders had misunderstood the project as they were not constructing a new wall but rather restoring a wall which was built by the Portuguese  but later eroded into the Indian Ocean.

Kibunja also clarified that no reclamation of land was taking place as the wall would be built 20 metres away from the cofferdams that  were being set up.

“Once the wall is built , the cofferdam will be removed and the land will be left to the ocean, I want to clarify that no reclamation of land is taking place,” Mzalendo Kibunja said.

Last week, the Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho and the National Land Commission chair Mohamed Swazuri had stormed into the area seeking to stop the construction of the wall.

Experts have warned that if not protected, the historical site could soon erode into the ocean as cracks have already started appearing on the landmark.