British government to lift travel advisory to Lamu Island

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The British government could soon lift travel advisory to Manda and Lamu Island following security improvement in Lamu County.

On 29th March 2016, Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet secretary Najib Balala and Lamu county governor Issa Timammy led tourism stakeholders in lobbying for the lifting of travel advisories during a tourism sector meeting held in Lamu and attended by British High Commissioner Nick Hailey.

Balala said that the government has invested heavily on security improvements in the region and it was time the British government reciprocates by lifting advisories.

“The travel advisory has been in force for the last five years, the government has done its best, gazetted 12 police stations, deployed 9 armored police vehicles besides other patrols,” said Balala.

Tourism business, he noted, is a key economic activity in the region and the dip in tourist arrivals was hurting the livelihood of the community.

Britain acknowledges security measures

British High Commissioner while responding to the stakeholders request acknowledged the security measures that the government has put in place and noted that his government will respond positively after reviewing the security situation.

“The British government is concerned with travel advisories affecting Lamu, we have gotten a good brief on security measures put in place and I am going to share this with my government for consideration,” said Hailey.

He said his security team will be reviewing security situation constantly for necessary steps as soon as possible.

Lamu governor said security improvement in the two islands was real and invited Hailey and his family for a working tour of the region.

“I am extending my invitation to you and family to come for three days and experience security in place. Our focus for now in Manda and Lamu Island before other areas,” said the governor.