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Lamu gets new heritage tourism attraction

By Philip Mwakio | January 25th 2015

Lamu County has a new tourist attraction in Takwa ruins which has now been officially inaugurated. Takwa, a Swahili settlement on Manda Island in the Lamu archipelago flourished in the sixteen and seventeen centuries and was then abandoned.

Its occupation follows the prosperous 15th century, that spans the interesting period of the history which witnessed the abandonment of the many of the mainland sites and an entrenchment of Swahili culture on the offshore islands.

According to National Museums of Kenya (NMK), Takwa is important not only because of its period of occupation but also because of its dense settlement and relatively well preserved remains. The inauguration took place on January 18, 2015. This was the climax of the Maulid festivals that took place all week long.

The site is one of the premier attractions in Lamu and is characterized by both natural and cultural heritage.

The event was graced by Mr Issa Timammy, the Governor Lamu County and the Assistant Director NMK Mr Athman Hussein. The site now has sufficient interpretation panels and signage that makes it easier for visitors to navigate the site and engage with it.

The Principal Curator Lamu museums and World Heritage Site (WHS) Mr Galgalo Rashid said the project was funded by The Thune Foundation in collaboration with National Museums.

“It involved the erection of a boardwalk from the sea to enable visitors come in at any time irrespective of the tides, the placement of site signage and panels, sinking of a bore hole, developing brochures and guide book for the site,’’ Galgalo said.

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