Mombasa County governor, Hassan Joho, has admitted that plans to develop a 100,000 m3/d desalination plant at Shanzu, on Keyna’s north coast, could be scuppered by "astronomical" land prices, reports Standard Digital.

“The price of land quoted by the sellers in the ongoing exercise to identify a site for the desalination plant is astronomical. Three acres used to go for KES 9 million ($88,448) a few years ago, but now cost KES 39 million ($383,273),” Governor Joho told Standard Digital.

Mombasa County last month called for expressions of interest in conducting a feasibility study for design, build and operation of a desalination plant in Shanzu, as it seeks to overcome ongoing shortages of water for domestic and industrial use.

Land prices have reportedly increased fourfold over the past few years in the upmarket beach suburb of Shanzu, on the Indian Ocean.