COAST HOTELIERS DENY POLLUTION CLAIMS
The Water Resources Management Authority chairman faced angry reactions from the coast branch of the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers following his allegations that over 90 percent of beach resorts were letting raw sewage ‘escape into the sea’. Individual hoteliers and association leaders denounced the statement as misleading and lacking any facts, considering that each and every resort was operating within the guidelines of the council, NEMA and as per their licensing conditions, while in turn accusing the water authority and the Mombasa water company of not expanding their sewerage network, causing hotels and resorts to use intermediate storage pits which require frequent emptying by special vehicles and transportation to the municipal water and sewerage works.
While a few hotels have set up their own sewerage treatment plants others rely on municipal services to evacuate their sewerage in accordance with regulations it was found out by contacting regular sources in Mombasa, which also condemned the broadside against hotels and resorts. Hotel association chair Mohamed Hersi said: ‘Hotels go through Nema certification before they start operations. These careless statements made through the media are damaging the tourism industry because tourists worldwide read them and may get a different picture.’
A source from the tour operating fraternity also added his voice by saying: ‘Some of our officials shoot off their mouth without thinking what damage they do. Overseas tourists look at destinations and find out about eco friendliness and green footprints. Making such allegations that over 90 percent of our beach resorts let sewerage flow into the ocean can destroy Kenya’s reputation abroad very quickly. Already travel agents abroad have picked the story and are asking if this can be true? The Water Authority chairman must withdraw these wild allegations if he cannot produce evidence, and there is no such evidence I tell you that over 90 percent of our resorts are non compliant’.
Whom to believe here? My bet is on the side of the hotel and resort operators and that they are not just doing the right thing but are in actual fact complying with regulations.