Mombasa, KENYA: The once toxic infamous Kibarani dumpsite which has been a hot potato for Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho’s government is now unrecognizable.
This is after months of rehabilitation that saw some of the garbage relocated to other dumpsites.
The rehabilitating team then undertook a project involving the replanting of trees at the park.
Decommissioning of the site took place in August after the Tourism CS announced the launch of the Mombasa regeneration initiative that would see several areas among them Pirates beach, Mama Ngina Park and the Kibarani Dumpsite rehabilitated.
The team tasked with the rehabilitation of Mombasa included officials from the Mombasa county government, the Tourism CS Najib Balala and the Environment and Forestry CS Keriako Tobiko.
Earlier, president Uhuru Kenyatta had ordered the canceling of all title deeds held by individuals and corporates claiming ownership of the dump site.
According to the Mombasa county environment CEC Dr. Geoffrey Nato the dumpsite was closed to protect the marine ecosystem.
“ The continued use of the Kibarani dumpsite and the dumping of waste into the ocean was proving to be a threat to marine life and so it was no longer viable to continue using it” Dr . Geoffrey Nato said.
The project has been lauded by United Nations Environmental Program officials who visited the area on Monday last week.
On Sunday, the Mombasa county government unveiled a public park with park seats,Wildlife sculptures, and grass carpets.
However, a section of tourism stakeholders have criticized the county over its use of artificial turf in the park.
Led by the Kenya Tourism Federation Boss Mohamed Hersi, the stakeholders argued that the trees would help absorb all the toxic waste that has been dumped at the park for years.
“A park is where you have benches and go to relax. Giving us sculptures of wildebeests in Mombasa is a No No. Marine life is facing serious dangers, why not focus on endangered marine life? Use the same to help our children learn about marine life. Set a marine theme around it .” Hersi said.
In July when the decommissioning began, a Mombasa environmental lobby group dubbed Clean Mombasa called for the replanting of the trees that were indigenous to the area to help restore the ecosystem.
“ The recreational facility will ensure re-Planting of mangrove trees will help protect the various flora and fauna hence creating a beautiful scenery” Dr. Muinga Chokwe the secretary of the lobby group had said.
Research conducted in 2017 showed that Mombasa county had lost 80% of its Mangrove cover with the Kibarani dumpsite being named as having played a key role.