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Curfew, insecurity threats hit tourism sector in Lamu

A 90-day dust-to-dawn curfew imposed by acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i in Lamu, Tana River and Garissa counties is a threat to the slumping tourism sector, stakeholders say.

The curfew declared last weekend aims to help contain increased attacks by Al-Shabaab. Although players in the tourism sector support the government’s initiative to contain security status of the region, they say the recent attacks in the region have brought the sector to its knees. They are calling on the State to ensure Lamu retains its glory.

Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers’ (KAHC) Coast branch executive officer, Sam Ikwaye praised the government for making efforts to rescue the region from insecurity threats it has faced for decades.

“We support the government initiative to contain security status in Lamu and its environs. The Coast has been experiencing relative calm and as stakeholders, we would not want that calm to affect the tourism sector,” Ikwaye told Travelwise.

The curfew orders came hours after the militant’s horded together and slaughtered nine men in an attack in Jima village, Lamu, last week.

A fortnight ago, another gang killed four police officers in Pandaguo area, looted and burnt valuables. The curfew has also been criticised by local politicians who say it has also interfered with the election campaigns.

Lamu Women Representative, Shakila Abdalla says top security bosses in Lamu have failed to secure the county and have resorted to oppressing locals.

“Lamu residents have been subject to not only these brutal attacks but also persistent roadblock checks and previous curfews from 2014,” she says.

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