1.         Lamu Old Town (Kenya) (C 1055)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2001

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1055/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2000-2004)
Total amount approved: USD 22,876
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1055/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS mission from 22 to 27 March 2004

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of management plan;

b) Lack of risk preparedness, especially in the case of fire;

c) Sewerage situation;

d) Lack of resources.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1055/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

The World Heritage Committee at its 30thsession (Vilnius, 2006) commended the State Party for the successful small improvements in conservation and particularly the establishment of a World Heritage secretariat for Lamu; and invited the State Party to implement the principal recommendations of the World Heritage Committee at its 28th (Suzhou, 2004) and 29th (Durban, 2005) sessions which have not yet been implemented:

a) No progress has been made in the preparation of the management plan;

b) No measures have been taken to improve water sanitation and waste disposal;

c) Although the buffer zone has been extended to include the Shella water catchments, it does not include the two complementary areas of Ras Kitau and Manda Island, and the Shella water catchment area is marred by illegal sales of over 20 parcels of land to private investors.

The State Party submitted a further report in January 2007 in the form of a management plan, which was submitted to ICOMOS for review. The plan has been undertaken through collaboration with key stakeholders and the local community. This plan is a huge step forward. It identifies the assets of Lamu, its weaknesses, threats and opportunities, and sets out ten objectives to address the key issues. These issues include the recommendations listed above: buffer zone, sanitation, water supply and waste management, as well as better co-ordination of planning, development and tourism activities and the need for a separately resourced World Heritage Unit. However, as yet few details are provided as to how the objectives will be resourced, given that currently the World Heritage secretariat only has a part-time co-ordinator who is also the curator of the Museum.

The following is a summary of the objectives:

(i) Review Conservation Plan and include the proposed buffer zone and the related nearby ancient towns such as Pate and Siyu. To be achieved by end of 2012; no details of resources for this project.

(ii) Comprehensive infrastructural development of Lamu and its associated archipelago and coastline; this includes sewage, water system and roads; to be carried out by Central Government under the 2003-2012 Lamu Development Plan; it is not clear whether resources are available.

(iii) Condition Survey of proposed buffer zone by June 2009; this will include the buildings of Pate and Siyu and the costing of rehabilitation and stabilisation; survey to be carried out by National Museums of Kenya (NMK); grants to be applied for subsequent work.

(iv) Draw up an extension of the World Heritage site to include Pate, Manda Island, Shella and the adjoining coastline by December 2007; no details of resources or responsibilities.

(v) Review resource management coordination at regional level; and separate functions local representative of NMK and the World Heritage co-ordinator (currently one person); no resources or timetable given.

(vi) Create community education awareness programme by 2008; employ full-time community education officer; no resources given.

(vii) Develop an integrated marketing strategy for Lamu; no resources or timescale given.

(viii) Review building by-laws; no details of who would achieve this or timetable.

(ix) Improve site presentation by December 2008; this includes garbage collection system by December 2007, web-site by June 2007; visitor management strategy by December 2007; revolving fund for house-owners by December 2009; no detail of resources or responsibilities.

(x) Prepare Disaster Management Plan by December 2007; no detail of who could do this.

ICOMOS strongly supports the objectives as set out in the plan. It also believes that realistically these need to be prioritised and responsibilities for their implementation identified from the partners associated with the Plan. Furthermore, it encourages the State Party to commit resources to those which have the highest priority. ICOMOS considers that these are the activities already identified by the Committee: buffer zone extension (including preliminary surveys), improvement to sanitation, water supply, and waste management, together with adequate resources for the World Heritage Secretariat.

ICOMOS also considers that the Management Plan should be augmented by an Action Plan that sets out in more detail how the objectives are to be met and which of the many organisations involved in the World Heritage site has the lead role in carrying forward actions.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.50

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.41, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.       Congratulates the State Party for the production of a Management Plan which has involved stakeholders and the local community and addresses well the challenges and issues that need to be met as formulated in ten objectives;

4.       Considers that there is a need to prioritise these objectives to reflect the key activities already identified by the Committee: buffer zone extension (including preliminary surveys), improvement of sanitation, water supply, and waste management;

5.       Calls on the State Party to augment the Management Plan with a more detailed Action Plan identifying key stakeholders for the various objectives;

6.       Urges the State Party to ensure that the State funds can be provided through the current Lamu Development Plan to address the sewage and water supply objectives as a matter of urgency; and for adequate posts in the World Heritage Secretariat;

7.       Calls upon international donors to provide financial and technical support to the State Party to improve the state of conservation of the property in line with the objectives of the Management Plan;

8.       Requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2008, a progress report on the implementation of these recommendations for review by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.