17-07-2019 by Freddie del Curatolo
The project of the 61-storey Palm Exotjca skyscraper in Watamu, now becomes a political case. This after dividing Kenyans into favorable and against that and uniting almost all foreigners, especially Italians and British living in the coastal town in a choir of "no".
The lawsuit at the top of the national parliament arose from the statement of the Minister of Tourism Najib Balala, which we reported last week (READ HERE THE ARTICLE AND THE DECLARATIONS) who had given his opinion against the construction of the skyscraper, saying that he had written a letter to NEMA to warn them that according to the tourism industry that building just 100 meters from the sea would have been inappropriate and not in accordance with environmental laws.
"They go to Mombasa or Nairobi to do it," Balala had thundered.
The response of the parliamentarian of Kilifi North, then also of Watamu Owen Baya was delayed but arrived clear and precise, during a local meeting with the boda boda operators, as reported by the columns of the daily newspapers Daily Nation and The Star.
Baya criticized the position taken by the Minister of Tourism: "It is absurd to see a cabinet secretary, who should promote tourism in Watamu - he said - oppose a project that will create many jobs for our young people. Balala is not a NEMA official and should stop listening to foreign investors who are afraid of losing customers in their small hotels and private homes.
In the meantime, the promoters of the Palm Exotjca project (among which does not appear the entrepreneur Franco Rosso as repeatedly erroneously reported by the Kenyan press) have already made several meetings with the local population, which seems well disposed towards the construction of the skyscraper, because in their opinion will bring employment at multiple levels, from low labourers to skilled labor and professional work in the field of hospitality.
If erected, the building will become the tallest in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, with its 370 metres.
Many construction experts, including members of Watamu's residents' associations, have already objected that in the small four-acre space and on land so close to the sea and mangrove lagoon, sandy and with shallow aquifers, it will be impossible to erect such a skyscraper. The question is open on several fronts and certainly the "saga" of Palm Exotjca will continue for a long time.
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