The building of a hotel associated with Deputy President William Ruto near the Indian Ocean in Mombasa is near completion after the National Environmental Authority gave it a clean bill of health.
Mombasa Nema boss Stephen Wambua on Wednesday said the contractor had complied with the authority’s order and removed the sand that had encroached the ocean and blocked route to public beach.
“An inspection was done and the sand that had been deposited and levelled on the beach has been removed,” he said.
“Our officers took photos as a confirmation that the sand had been removed to allow public access of the beach.”
Mr Wambua said their investigations did not reveal any breach of construction regulations.
“We gave our order. They complied, we inspected and gave them a clean bill of health.”
Mombasa Lands Executive Edward Nyale said the county government also gave the hotel a go-ahead after it opened the beach access roads.
“During our investigations, we found that the encroachment was the only issue after which we confirmed with Nema and our officers that the sand was removed and there was no any further probe. For now, we don’t have any other pending issues,” Mr Nyale told the Nation on phone.
When the Nation visited the site on Tuesday, workers were putting final touches on the building that is expected to be one of the biggest in the tourist hub.
The hotel was thrust into the limelight in August when three Nation Media Group journalists were attacked and injured while when they visited the site.
The hotel is being constructed on a 10-acre parcel at an estimated cost of Sh600 million.
The construction has been going on for two years and is part of Weston Hotel chain but under the name Dolphin Hotel.
Details on Nema website indicate that the construction in Shanzu is under Weston Hotel Limited but the project title is ‘Proposed Alteration and Extension of Dolphin Hotel,’ registration number NEMA/EIA/PSR/6347.
On Tuesday, sources from the hotel industry revealed that the facility will be the biggest in Mombasa.
“It will be double the capacity of Pride Inn Hotel. The hotel will control some good business,” said the source.
Pride Inn Paradise Hotel has a total of 300 guest rooms and is the largest in Mombasa.
The new hotel has three floors. The beach view is almost complete, with all the floors already painted white.
Further checks by the Nation revealed ongoing works at the back side with an excavator on the ground.
In August, the contractor was accused of encroaching on Indian Ocean and blocking access to the beach.
Nema, however, allowed the construction to go on after the developer removed sand.
This year was the second time the hotel developer was at loggerheads with the Mombasa county government after it blocked access to the beach.
The contractor of the hotel, Avco Agencies Limited, got the approval in 2016 from the county government.
However, that same year, the county government moved in and stopped the construction after residents complained that the contractor was dumping debris on a public road.
The National Construction Authority also gave the building a go-head under Reg. No 301031560016.
According to documents obtained by the Nation, the developer name is registered as Weston Hotel Limited with the applicant being a Mr Joseph K. Maswan.
However, the developer’s phone number in the registration papers belongs to Weston Hotel’s General Manager Michael Nzile, according to True Caller.
The land on which the construction stands has a lease of period of 95 years, according to records seen by the Nation.