KCB Donates Kshs. 1 Million towards Preservation of the Lamu Sea Front
The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) today received KShs1 million from KCB Foundation in support of its project to pave the Lamu Seafront Promenade.
The cheque was presented by KCB Group Chairman, Mr. Peter Muthoka, to NMK Chairman, Mr. Issa Timamy.
Speaking during the presentation, Mr. Muthoka praised NMK’s efforts to raise the profile and quality of the infrastructure in the island town by cabro-paving the Sea Front promenade which would enhance its aesthetics and boost tourism as well as business activities.
“Our contribution of KSh1 million will support the cabro-paving of the area around the KCB Branch, complementing the support that the National Museums of Kenya has received from other partners to complete the job along the sea front promenade,” said Mr. Muthoka.
NMK has been actively involved in the preservation and development of the Lamu Old Town as a Cultural Heritage town and tourist destination owing to its century old urban landscape, its unique vernacular architecture and an unperturbed traditional way of life.
In response, the NMK Chairman said they were seeking the support of various stakeholders to pave the sea front promenade as part of their agenda to preserve the cultural value of the town.
“This project is aimed at paving of the entire Lamu seafront promenade, repairing the existing street furniture, refitting drainage infrastructure and the installation of new rubbish containers as well as lighting,” said Mr. Timamy.
So far, a total of Kshs.8.4 million has been raised against an estimated budget of KShs.40 million.
“We will continue to solicit for more funding from the stakeholders and Friends of Lamu to support completion of this project,” added Mr. Timamy.
Mr. Muthoka said KCB was the first bank to establish operations in the historic island in 1993 and was committed to supporting its economic development initiatives.
“As a bank we will continue to play our role in providing financial intermediation to people and institutions not only in Lamu but also across the region to boost their economic advancement efforts and in the process change their lives for the better,” he said.
Lamu was declared a national monument in 1980 and enlisted into the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 2001. Its sublime architecture and strong living Swahili-Islamic culture has given it a special status among the country’s urban settlements as it enjoys a steady growth in its tourism.
Owing to the deteriorating state of the sea front street both in terms of its physical infrastructure and functionality and in a bid to protect and preserve this important Heritage, NMK has undertaken a project that is aimed at saving the Lamu Water Front from further decay.
Currently, the sea front promenade serves a multiple of functions apart from being the gate way into the stone town. It represents the physical setting in which the Lamu Old Town is set and stretches for the entire width of the town’s frontage.
It serves as a landing site for goods and passengers embarking from the arriving dhows in Lamu, a public recreational area and venue for the Zefe (religious procession) performed during the annual Maulidi Celebrations.
The realization of this project will improve the drainage system and rubbish collection of the entire town, improve Lamu’s image presentation as a World Heritage Site and be a more attractive and functional venue for important events. So far, the section between Lamu Museum and Raudha mosque promenade has been interlock paved with joint funding by the Australian High Commission in Kenya and the National Museums of Kenya.
NMK is partnering with several stakeholders to ensure that the pavement of the Sea Front Promenade of this old town and important World Heritage Site is achieved.
Present at the ceremony was the KCB Foundation Chairman, Mrs. Susan Omanga, KCB Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Group Businesses, Mr. Peter Munyiri and NMK Director General Dr. Idle Farah.
NMK will elect a Roll of Honour Board to feature at the entry of the sea front showing names of all the supporters of this project when completed. Individual boards will also be elected at specific places where the stakeholders have specifically provided supported for.
This article was originally posted on East Africa Business Communities