Tourism minister Najib Balala has called on the government to speed up the Dongo Kundu bypass project to open up the South Coast to investment. Balala said the area has great potential for tourism and other business, but it remains unexploited due to the difficulty of accessing the area.

The minister said investors shy away from investing in property in the South Coast because of the Likoni channel where tourists and residents experience congestion and delays due to frequent ferry mishaps. “The project, once finished, will be a major boost to tourism and other sectors in the country due to the South Coast’s great potential,” said Balala.

The project is being executed by the Kenya government with the help of the Japanese government through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency. The project has faced a lot of opposition from residents whose compounds the bypass will affect. The residents claim the project will destroy important cultural heritage sites. Balala also revealed that the government is already working on plans to construct a dual carriageway along the Mombasa-Malindi highway.