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Vasco Da Gama pillar shielded from sea waves

By Philip Mwakio | July 3rd 2020

A sea wall being erected at the Vasco Da Gama pillar site in Malindi, Kilifi County. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Malindi town’s Vasco Da Gama pillar has received reinforcement following construction of a sea wall to protect it from coastal erosion.

The sea wall will protect the historic bell shaped-monument that was erected by Portuguese explorers in 1498.

National Museums of Kenya (NMK) Director General Mzalendo Kibunjia said the Vasco Da Gama pillar is the oldest remaining European monument in tropical Africa.

“Over time, strong tidal waves caused by a warming planet have put the iconic architectural treasure at great risk and is faced with the prospect of collapse,” Kibunjia said.

Landmark relic

The Vasco da Gama pillar is a landmark in Malindi and attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists.

Dr Kibunjia said the Vasco da Gama pillar rehabilitation works comes after the NMK recently completed the construction of a Sh497 million structurally sound seawall at the Fort Jesus in Mombasa.

Kibunjia said many historical and marine cultural sites along the shoreline enlisted by UNESCO for their outstanding universal value face perilous and uncertain future due to rising sea levels.

“As NMK we are determined to ensure that historical sites are taken care of and protected for posterity,” he said.

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