A 3-day regional conference on the protection of underwater cultural heritage for sustainable development in Eastern Africa and the adjacent Indian Ocean Islands has officially been opened in Malindi.

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While opening the event, Kilifi County Governor Amason Kingi said the County Government of Kilifi has partnered with the National Museums of Kenya to protect and promote cultural heritage in a bid to enhance and protect underwater cultural heritage. 

He said the partnership will be extended further to sharing of technical information, knowledge and resources between international institutions, countries, counties and departments.

Addressing stakeholders on Monday, the governor said the partnership will increase awareness on these important underwater resources as respective counties combat treasure hunting and build rapport in the communities like the Ngomeni village in Malindi where some of these cultural underwater heritages are rightly safeguarded.

Governor Kingi also called on the national government to "speed up the ratification and implementation of the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the protection of the underwater cultural heritage so as to foster underwater cultural heritage and develop its potential for sustainable tourism in the Coastal region."

Meanwhile, the Kilifi County boss assented to the Kilifi County Finance Bill, 2018-2019 into law. The Bill seeks to provide for the various taxes, fees and other charges that are payable to the County Government of Kilifi.

The Bill also sets out the rates currently payable to the County Government of Kilifi so as to enhance revenue payable to the County Government for better service delivery and enable the County Government to perform its functions as bestowed on it by the fourth schedule of the Kenyan Constitution.

The County Assembly proposed and passed a few amendments to the Bill including; making the admission of bodies into the County government mortuaries free (from a fee of Ksh1,500) and reducing the increment of salt cess from Ksh200 to Ksh150 per tonne.