The Sh460 million Mombasa waterfront project at Mama Ngina Drive will boost tourism in the coastal city, officials say.
The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and the county government.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and Governor Hassan Joho will launch the project today.
Coast Regional Coordinator Bernard Leparmarai and Tourism Principal Secretary Joe Okudo were among government officers who inspected the preparation of the launch on Sunday.
According to the government, the park will also create employment for locals.
The project will entail the development of a public square, two gateways, a Swahili cultural centre, pigeon coops, a paved path, space for restaurants, modern selling points, an amphitheatre and landscaping gardens.
The waterfront project will be completed by May. The project is expected to transform Mombasa into a leading and competitive world class tourism destination.
Mombasa Tourism chief officer Innocent Mugabe and the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers said Mombasa would join great tourism cities around the world that have been weaved around waterways.
“Waterfronts cities like London, Dubai or Cape Town are among the most toured. Mombasa will be in company with San Francisco with her famous Fisherman’s Wharf, a melting pot of tourism on the West Coast of North America,” Mr Mugabe said.
There are around 150 traders at the drive selling food, artefacts and other products.
The chief officer said 300 traders would be allowed to operate at the park once the project is completed.
“We will have modern shops, restaurant and sanitation facilities. This project will make Mombasa a beach destination,” Mr Mugabe said.
“The area was an early settlement site and a battleground during the Arab-Portuguese wars. It has a rich history. In fact, the baobab trees are grave markers.”
Security enhanced at the drive on Sunday as workers made last minute touches ahead of today’s launch.
The National Treasury set aside Sh460 million in the 2018/19 budget for the project.
Tourism has experienced competition, security and other challenges, resulting in the decline in Kenya’s competitiveness.
The ministry procured consultancy services encompassing architectural, civil engineering, surveying, landscaping, urban planning and environmental expertise from Planning Systems Services.