In Summary
  • Lamu Old Town alone, which is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, has more than 1,200 traditional and old buildings which are key to the Lamu archipelago’s history and image.
  • But Mohamed Mwenje, Principal Curator of the Lamu Fort Museums, Sites and Monuments, said on Tuesday that 35 percent of the buildings are at risk of collapsing so repairs are necessary.
  • Mr Mwenje noted the "very high" costs of restoring old, traditional buildings as the materials required are difficult to find.
  • He appealed for more help, saying "if something isn’t done we will not only lose the historical aspect of Lamu as a cultural heritage site but we shall also have to say goodbye to tourists".

The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) has raised the alarm over the bad state of historical monuments and buildings within Lamu Old Town and the entire county, saying restoration is required urgently.

Lamu Old Town alone, which is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, has more than 1,200 traditional and old buildings which are key to the Lamu archipelago’s history and image.

But Mohamed Mwenje, Principal Curator of the Lamu Fort Museums, Sites and Monuments, said on Tuesday that 35 percent of the buildings are at risk of collapsing so repairs are necessary.

'EXCESSIVE DECAY'

Regarding Lamu Old Town, Mr Mwenje spoke of "extensive decay and the imminent collapse" of majority of the buildings.

He said he was worried that the buildings would cease to exist if measures were not taken to restore them.

Lamu's historical monuments and buildings are major tourist attractions that have seen many local and international tourists visit every year.

They include the German Post Office which has been in existence for more than 50 years.

Lamu Fort

A view of Lamu Fort, one of the old and historical buildings in Lamu County. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

HIGH COSTS

Mr Mwenje noted the "very high" costs of restoring old, traditional buildings as the materials required are difficult to find.

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