Photo Credit: Zeynep Gokalp
New Restrictions Aim To Curb Harassment Of Tourists In Lamu, Kenya
Authorities in Lamu, Kenya have created a campaign they hope will end the harassment of people traveling to and from the island, according to Nation.Africa.
The campaign includes several new rules, one of which requires public service vehicles to park at least 50 meters away from the Mokowe jetty to allow travelers the space and freedom to gather their luggage without interference.
This new measure is intended to help protect individuals’ property and prevent injury and theft.
Now, rather than pursuing travelers and offering their services to them, boat operators will have to line up and wait for passengers seeking transport to approach them. However, the new rules do not apply to private boat service providers.
Another helpful new measure includes training for boat operators and touts that teaches them ideal practices for working and interacting with customers.
Lamu West Sub-County Police Commander, Nyawa Murinzi said that security officers will be present daily at all drop-off and pick-up points at the Mokowe, Manda Airport, and Lamu jetties, as well as at the main depot to ensure the rules are being observed.
“There were many complaints from tourists and other travelers,” said Murinzi. “The Lamu jetties and stages lacked order. Touts would harass and steal luggage from travelers, especially the tourists.”
“After a meeting of stakeholders, including those in the transport sector, the county government and the community, we all agreed to introduce the new directive that will see touts and travelers operating in a systematic manner.”
Omar Famau, Municipality Manager of Lamu, believes things have greatly improved since the institution of the new rules. Under the new directives, only official operators have been handling travelers’ baggage, rather than thieves posing as operators to steal from tourists.
“We have had constant conflicts and confusion between genuine touts and imposters, especially on how to handle clients,” Famau said. “All this is done in order to ensure the security and well-being of tourists and travelers visiting Lamu.”