Kilifi,KENYA:The annual Kilifi dhow competition was held on Monday after being pushed from December 2017 over lack of sponsors due to lack of sponsors .
The event which was was held at Old Ferry in Kilifi saw a low attendance of about 200 people which is almost a quarter of the regular attendance.
8 winners were selected in the different categories.
The event whose budget is at 500,000 only received a sponsorship fund of shillings 100,000 from the Kilifi North constituency development fund kitty.
The event is held in December every year and already the possibilities of the 2018 event being held is hanging in the balance over the cash crunch crisis.
Its organizers led by Captain Shallo Issa, the organizing secretary have attributed the event’s woes to the pulling out of Safaricom in 2014 who used to be the major sponsors of the event.
“This event is very important to us but mostly to our youth as we have ever been using it as a tool to sensitize them to keep drugs in the entire County,” Shallo said.
“But of late since the withdrawal of Safaricom as a sponsor after the retirement of its Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph, things have not been the same again. The budget has not been met hence making the organization of this event very difficult as you cannot call a fisherman to join the race and then have nothing at the end of the day,” he added.
The fishermen are now calling on the county government and tourism stakeholders in the county to sponsor the event saying it is an avenue that can revamp the ailing tourism sector in the county.