Governor Ali Hassan Joho's administration has prioritised the revamping of its popular Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach and will be seeking to enlist it as a Blue Flag accredited beach.
Iconic Blue Flag is one of the world's most recognised voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas or sustainable boating tourism operators meet its stringent standards.
In an exclusive interview with The Standard, County Chief Officer for Tourism, Mr Innocent Mugabe said that they are moving with speed to ensure that Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach gets the Blue Flag accreditation.
“We already have the central government through the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife allocating Sh200 million for the upgrade of the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach during the first quarter of next year. This is alongside another Sh450 million for similar works on the scenic Mama Ngina Water Front. Once work is complete at the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach, we shall start the process of applying for accreditation as a Blue Flag beach,'' Mugabe said.
Mugabe added that once they are successful in their application, they will be expected to ensure that they adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management – and comply with bathing water regulations considerably above minimum standards.
''We will have a lot to do after we are accredited so as to ensure that we do not lose the Blue Flag accreditation as it is an ongoing process where period checks are done to ensure that we maintain required stringent standards,'' he said.
He added that a blue flag standard is an international award which recognises outstanding compliance with bathing water quality and sewage treatment regulations.
''The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and inland bathing waters around the world,'' Mugabe said.
The Chief Officer explained that getting the Blue Flag accreditation will be a momentous occasion as it rightly proves a point of fierce local pride but it really engages communities and citizens with the beach natural environment.
He added that the County Government of Mombasa is committed to supporting this venture of cleaner environment in the Port City and is moving to enact legislation to make it mandatory for establishments and or buildings near shorelines to carry out mandatory clean ups on as regular basis.