County fast tracking Ikanga Airstrip completion
H.E. Deputy Governor Majala Mlagui has stated that the County Government is working closely with Kenya Airports Authority to fast track the operationalisation of Ikanga Airstrip in Voi Sub county
While chairing a tourism stakeholders’ forum at Afrika Lodges H.E. Mlagui stated that a fully functional airstrip would boost revenues from the tourism sector with its trickling effects to be felt by residents at the community grassroots level.
“With a unified sector we should be able to harness the great potential of tourism within our county, expanding our boundaries beyond the Tsavo East and West established circuits,” Hon Mlagui reiterated.
The Deputy Governor was optimistic that after proper placement of infrastructure in the project together with the completion of the airstrip will make the County a business hub that receives regular scheduled commercial flights in addition to the private aircrafts that utilise the airstrip.
“ I am briefed that airline operators are eager to ply this route connecting beach tourism with our park and cultural heritage areas,” H.E. Mlagui observed.
County Executive Committee Member CECM in charge of Trade, Tourism, Cooperatives and Industrialisation Daniel Makoko promised an open-door policy and participatory approach while dealing with this initiative stating that a technical committee is in place to ensure the project comes to fruition.
“Having planes landing frequently on Taita Taveta County soil is doable,” Mr Makoko added.
Stakeholders present, among them ticketing agents, expressed that with automated ticketing systems it will be easy to take flights.
Group Manager Voi Wildlife Permenus Riungu noted that the presence of regular flights would boost hotel occupancy and that the local tourism stakeholders were keen to work with the County to push for the operationalisation of the Ikanga Airstrip.
County Chief Officer CCO Trade, Tourism, Cooperatives and Industrialisation Christine Mwakera advised that as residents are ready to welcome tourists then it’s important to put strategies in place to market the Taita Taveta cultural values.
“A lot can be done. I noticed we have numerous heritage sites. In each ward, there is at least one heritage site. The County’s treasures and artefacts need to be placed in museums strategically to get earnings, “the CCO said.
Stakeholder Gibran Nurah pointed to training the communities on being guides and providing proper sensitisation on Taita Taveta history.
Noteworthy is that the stakeholders nominated a 4-member industry team to complement the government technical team working to fast track Ikanga Airport operations.