Kenya officially opened Mama Ngina Waterfront Park that was redeveloped at US $4.6m. The seaside public park was reopened to the public on 20th October 2019 for the Mashujaa Day fete.
The 26-acre park that overlooks the Kilindini Channel in Mombasa County has been transformed into an integrated urban tourist attraction site. The refurbishment included landscaping and paving the waterfront with concrete blocks, construction of an amphitheatre, the Kilindini Cultural Centre, ablution blocks and two main gates.
The park is the first public landscaped waterfront in the country. The government however has has plans to redevelop the Jomo Kenyatta public beach in northern mainland of Mombasa, the Malindi waterfront, and others in Naivasha and Kisumu on lakes Naivasha and Victoria respectively.
Mama Ngina park has always been a place for leisure resting, walking, jogging and riding. It is famous for its fried cassava and all manner of fried potatoes and pastries. The project was designed to support a 24-hour economy and its layout includes a new jetty for water taxis.
The waterfront now features a palm tree-lined walkway from the Likoni Ferry Crossing to its south through to the Mombasa Golf Club to the north. These two points are the entry and exit points both ways, and are now marked by huge monumental gates.
The waterfront park also has a sun-drenched 2.1km long promenade and a space for food vendors. The sitting area now a properly built amphitheatre, has more greenery with newly planted palm trees and grass where visitors can while away time.
The walkway has rail guards separating it from the cliff-face, just above the pounding waves crashing onto the rocks below making it a safe, family-friendly place. For years, this park has housed the famous Florida Nightclub & Casino and Galaxy Chinese Restaurant on the northern edge. These have been incorporated into the cultural vista of the new look park.
The amphitheatre’s design was derailed from the ancient Rome. It has a seating capacity of 3,000 people who will comfortably enjoy live cultural events and performances. The original parking squares have been retained next to the walkway to ensure orderliness. Being open 24-hours a day, the park is well lit with strategically placed security lighting, a police post and public toilets.
The redevelopment was undertaken by a local company, Suhufi Agencies. According to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the park is expected to restore the glory of Mombasa as a top tourist destination in the region.