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Lamu Archipelago Comes To Live as Locals, Tourists Indulge In Cultural Festival

Saturday, marked day three of the annual Lamu Cultural festival with local and international tourists flocking the tiny Indian Ocean island, added to the UNESCO list of world heritage sites in 2001.

The festival now in its 18th edition, seeks to celebrate Coastal heritage and traditions in a carnival atmosphere.

Festival serves as a major economic tourism booster to the island as visitors soak up the rich history.

Described as a quiet town by majority of the locals, the Lamu archipelago comes to life during  the festival.

Several competitions and races are staged during the festival which include traditional Swahili poetry,Henna painting and the Bao competition, which is considered as one of the oldest known games in human history.

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In order  to preserve and encourage the art of dhow sailing, now threatened by increasing availability of engines and prefabricated boats, the dhow race is also held.

But its however the annual donkey race that seems to spark the island to life with hundreds of cheering fans.

”These festival should be extended to 7 days as opposed to 4 days as it makes the place more lively”,says one of the locals interviewed by CGTN Digital.

Under the theme ”Tembea Lamu,the Kenya Tourism board says that the event continues to attract growing numbers of tourists,with the numbers improving steadily as opposed to 2017.

Hotels, restaurants and business people are roaring in their business as well.

Kenya Tourism Board CEO Betty Radier, says security on the island has been beefed up, in a region that has faced security threats in the past especially in the Boni region.

Lamu is one of the counties that the government seeks to harness its potential thorough opportunities brought about by the Blue economy Conference set to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from next week.

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Written by PH

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