Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho stormed the construction site of a sea wall to protect the erosion of Fort Jesus and ordered it stopped.
Mr Joho, who was accompanied by National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri, ordered the National Museums of Kenya, which is in charge of the project, to halt the process, saying it was going against the application it had made.
“Can you stop! This is not right. Why are you reclaiming the ocean instead of putting up a sea wall? This is not what you had applied for,” Mr Joho told Fatma Twahir, the principal curator at Fort Jesus.
Mr Joho said the museum was reclaiming the two-acre land parcel instead of building a wall.
The National Museums of Kenya said it was building a wall to prevent the waters from reaching the museum’s foundation.
Experts had expressed fears of the historical site crumbling because of sea water eroding its foundation.
Mr Joho said the NMK had applied to construct a wall, which the county was in support of, but wondered why it was reclaiming the sea.
“This will kill the ecological system of this area. You have also closed access to the ocean, hindering our people from using this public place,” he said.
When Ms Twahir was asked why the NMK was reclaiming the land instead of constructing a wall, she said: “I am not in charge of the project. Officials from Nairobi are, but I will convey the message.”
When the contractor showed the map plan of the construction, the site was specified as “to be reclaimed”.
Without our knowledge
Mr Swazuri said the reclamation was being done without the knowledge of his office.
“They have not even passed by our office as required. The idea to reclaim the land is not acceptable because such land is not allowed to be allocated as per the law,” he said.
He said Museums had not made any application to the NLC for the same.