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Kilifi County to set up a first aquatic museum

By Philip Mwakio | November 12th 2018
Kilifi Governor, Amason J. Kingi with County Executive for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Ms. Luciana Jumwa Sanzua. [Photo: Courtesy]

The County Government of Kilifi is moving ahead to set up what would be the first under water museum in Kenya.

The County government has identified the site to be around Ngomeni village, a fishing zone on the outskirts of Malindi town where there are ship wrecks.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting convened by the Jumuiya Ya Kaunti Za Pwani at the Flamingo by Pride Inn Beach Resort, Kilifi County Executive for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Ms Luciana Sanzua Jumwa said that plans are in the pipeline to set up the underground museum on a Private Public Partnership (PPP) model.

''We are telling the world that the Kenyan Coast and Kiliif in general has abundant potential in investment and in particular in the Blue Economy area,'' she said.

Earlier, the national government had through the then Culture, Sport and Arts Cabinet Secretary, Mr Hassan Wario (now Kenyan ambassador to Austria) announced that the National Museum of Kenya (NMK) would partner with the Republic of China to establish the first under water Museum in Kenya.

The plan, according to government sources is culmination of the discovery and collection of various artifacts among them those unearthed from two shipwrecks in the Indian Ocean waters of Malindi and Lamu.

Archeologists have displayed various items recovered from a shipwreck discovered in the Indian Ocean off the Ngomeni Coastline which included lead metals, copper ingots, Chinese ceramic and pottery, strip and plates for ship building and coagulated concrete artifacts.

NMK initiated the process of gazetting the Ngomeni shipwreck site to ensure its protection.

The Chinese government has supported NMK and assisted Kenya train its first ever underwater archeologists Caesar Bita and Philip Wanyama and also to procure underwater archeology equipment.

Underwater archeology is a relatively new and expensive undertaking in Africa and Kenya’s partnership with China placed it ahead of many regional African states in this area of specialization.

The Ngomeni Shipwreck is believed to be Portuguese in origin although further excavations will authenticate that hypothesis.

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