By Caroline Katana
Kwale County government has put measures in place to settle land disputes to create a conducive environment for investors in the real estate sector.
The move is triggered by private developers showing interest in investing in real estate by constructing quality housing units in Diani’s tourist destination.
Speaking during a handover ceremony of 17 units of Zuhri Villas and Almond Ridge in Galu, Kwale county executive committee member in charge of tourism, trade, and enterprise development Michael Mutua’s land department is working hard to ensure historical land injustices become a thing of the past.
“Governor Fatuma Achani is concerned about it to make sure the conman ship that was there before in matters land seizes,” said Mutua.
The CEC said the county government of Kwale is collaborating with investors to see the transformation of the development landscape in Diani.
“We will be doing a lot of trade fairs to sell many of these properties not only here in Kwale but even overseas, in the coming financial year 2023/2024 we intend to do that marketing for you because it is our business to create an enabling environment for you to be able to do business” he added.
Confirming that there has been a vacuum in the real estate sector in the county Mutua said the intended trade fairs will involve marketing the constructed properties around Diani.
“I want to thank our developers, I know we have supported you but we will continue to support you because we know there is a gap in real estate and if we don’t give you the support that is required then that gap will continue and the population in Kwale is growing fast,” he said.
Mutua added that the services the residents are getting from the national and county government are causing an increase in population that needs good housing.
“For example, you have seen the Shimoni port coming up, the fish market coming up so these are the things that are going to make a boom in real estate and the county government will be on the first line to ensure that investors are comfortable,” noted Mutua.
Virshon Co. Limited contractor Nashon Onyalo called upon other developers to invest in Diani terming it a land full of unexploited opportunities.
“We are thankful that Diani is growing and this development is testimony that development in Diani has just started there are a lot of opportunities here and we want to encourage investors to come to this place because it is a virgin land, it’s a world destination but it needs a lot of accommodation,” he said.
Onyalo noted that quality housing is still a challenge in Diani saying it is prudent to change the face of the tourist destination,
“We are here, we want to change the face of Diani and with the support of the county government, we know this place will change, 90 per cent of those who are here are ready to spend. They are coming from various places to spend their cash here so find a way to remove that money from their pocket to your pocket,” said Onyalo.
On his part, Richard Mwangi one of the owners of Zuhri Villas said the project idea came up in 2019 but was slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“It has been made possible by Onyalo. Everything that you see here, the craftsmanship of the whole Zuhri Villas from the gate to the end has made it possible for us and after that, we have seen other developments coming like Almond Ridge and Galu apartments,” said Mwangi.
Mwangi said the idea to have affordable and quality housing for everyone was timely.
Mwangi added, “At the end of the day you need to go to somewhere you call home, to officially have a home somewhere whether voluntary or the government finding the wisdom of doing it”.
Lucy Wangari, another homeowner, termed Diani to be the right place for investment.
“I would encourage developers to invest in Diani because there are many things that are opening up, we know the Dongo Kundu by-pass project is almost finished so Diani is opening up and everyone is welcome,” she said.
Zuhri Villas is made up of five units of five luxurious bedrooms while Almond Ridge is made up of 12 units of three luxurious bedrooms.